Cosby scandal was ‘heartbreaking’ for the black neighborhood

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The ache attributable to Bill Cosby’s public fall from grace remains to be recent for a lot of figures from his previous — together with “A Different World” actress Jasmine Guy.

Guy — who had a starring position on the “Cosby Show” spinoff — tears up when speaking to Page Six concerning the comic’s downfall, saying she struggled to imagine the allegations at first.

“I couldn’t really put the two images together,” Guy says.

“It’s heartbreaking for those of us in the business that admire him, his talent and his mind — and then as a black person it’s heartbreaking because he meant a lot to the community.”

Accusations of drugging and sexually assaulting ladies had racked up towards Cosby for years but it surely took a joke by comic Hannibal Burress going viral in 2014 to deliver recent eyes to the instances. Eventually convicted of aggravated indecent assault involving accuser Andrea Constand in a Pennsylvania court docket in 2018 and sentenced to a few to 10 years in state jail, Cosby was freed last year on a technicality when the state’s highest court docket discovered {that a} prosecutor’s decades-old settlement with the performer ought to have shielded him from prison prices.

Guy says that when she first heard “rumblings” about Cosby’s alleged abuses she had frank discussions with males in her life to realize some perception into his conduct.

“Just to [try to] understand the mentality, which is still baffling,” she defined. “I asked practical questions like, ‘What pleasure do you get out of being with someone who’s kind of out of it?’”

“I don’t expect people to be perfect and I don’t expect human beings not to falter,” she continued. “I just didn’t understand. I don’t know, there was a meanness behind it that I couldn’t understand.”

Guy says that she solely met Cosby a handful of occasions, as they filmed their respective exhibits on completely different coasts, however remembers him flying out to California to “put his foot down for the AIDS episode [which ran during the show’s fourth season] with NBC because they didn’t want to do it. They never wanted to do anything deep that we wanted to do.”

The Boston-born actress says that NBC by no means handled “A Different World” with any respect throughout its 1987-1993 run.

Jasmine Guy, Kadeem Hardison, Patti LaBelle in "A Different World."Guy turned a fan favourite for her position as Whitley in “A Different World.”©Carsey-Werner Co/Courtesy Ever

“It was always a fight with them,” she claimed.

“We were always told we were number two because we came in between ‘Cheers’ and ‘Cosby,’” Guy continued. “We were always told we stayed on the air because Cosby’s on the air. Our power was always diminished in Hollywood, to the networks, to the powers that be. We were not treated as I saw other actors treated on other hit shows.”

In reality, it wasn’t till Guy left the sequence and began speaking to those that she realized how beloved the present was and the way a lot individuals took to her character, Whitley Gilbert, a spoiled Southern belle who matured over the seasons.

Jasmine Guy singing.Guy has additionally carried out on stage and on Broadway.WireImage

Guy liked engaged on the present, particularly when older actors got here on and shared their tales with the younger forged. Of course, now she’s the one dishing out recommendation on exhibits just like the Amazon Prime sequence “Harlem,” a few group of 4 black ladies navigating their private {and professional} lives after school.

She performs the mom of one of many women, a well-to-do Jamaican-born lady who has exceedingly excessive expectations for her daughter — and isn’t afraid to precise them.

Jasmine Guy in "Harlem."Guy performs a demanding mom on the Amazon sequence “Harlem.”Sarah Shatz/Amazon Prime Video

But Guy says she’s nothing just like the character she portrays along with her personal daughter Imani, 22.

“So many times I’ll say after a scene, ‘Oh I could never be this mean to Imani, she’s far too sensitive to what Mommy says,’ so I choose my words carefully and try not to decimate the poor child,” she defined with fun.

“Sometimes it’s hard for me to hold my tongue because I’m thinking of something and I know it’s a good line.”

Guy additionally has one other undertaking popping out on Amazon in February, a film known as “The Lady Makers” that explores the connection between white and black ladies within the South.

And so far as her craft, she thinks the years have solely helped her work: “I feel like I’m a better actor now,” she says.

“Before I was always pretending and I feel the work now is a little more connected.”

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