Phylicia Rashad, Howard University

From June 2021 to July 2021
Howard University (Private college or university)
Washington, D.C., United States

Identity of Speakers

  • Phylicia Rashad

    Phylicia Rashad is an actress and dean of the College of Fine Arts at Howard University


Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
  • Incident Political Orientation:
  • Incident Responses:
    Rally or Protests
  • Incident Status:
    No litigation
  • Did not involve Speech Codes


Phylicia Rashad is an actress and dean of the College of Fine Arts at Howard University. On June 30, 2021, following the overturning of Bill Cosby’s criminal conviction for sexual assault, Rashad tweeted, “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted – a miscarriage of justice is corrected!”, along with a photo of Cosby. The tweet provoked a swift online backlash, leading Rashad to issue a letter to Howard students and parents on July 3 offering “[her] most sincere apology” for the tweet. She wrote that her remarks were “in no way directed towards survivors of sexual assault,” and that over the next few weeks she planned to “engage in active listening and participate in trainings to not only reinforce University protocol and conduct, but also to learn how I can become a stronger ally to sexual assault survivors and everyone who has suffered at the hands of an abuser.”

Earlier in the week, Howard University had disavowed the support Rashad showed for Cosby. “Survivors of sexual assault will always be our first priority,” read a statement posted on Howard University’s verified social media accounts. “While Dean Rashad has acknowledged in her follow-up tweet that victims must be heard and believed, her initial tweet lacked sensitivity towards survivors of sexual assault.”