Saturday, December 4, 2021

Bill Cosby Cut from Film About Black Stuntmen: ‘We Were the Last Project Standing Behind Him’

bill cosby
Bill Cosby in “Painted Down: The Movie'” before he was removed from the film

*Bill Cosby has been edited out of an upcoming documentary called, “Painted Down,” which explores Hollywood’s dirty little secret of white stuntmen applying blackface to double for black actors.

The Black Stuntmen’s Association has also removed from its website a lengthy tribute to Cosby, who was the first actor to demand that his stunt double be an actual black man.

“Cosby is no longer attached to the project,” said the film’s producer, Nonie Robinson, according to Deadline.com. “We were the last project standing behind him, but now with Whoopi (Goldberg) and CAA pulling the plug, we must also disassociate and cut all ties with Cosby. It’s the right thing to do in light of the recent court deposition being made public.”

In November, when the controversy was in its early stages, Robinson told Deadline that Cosby’s interview would not be cut from “Painted Down.”

Cosby, who has been accused of drugging and raping dozens of women decades ago, was dropped by CAA late last year, long before revelations surfaced in a deposition in which he admitted to having obtained Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with. “The View” co-host Goldberg, who had been standing behind Cosby’s until proven guilty and also appears in “Painted Down,” last week changed her tune, saying that “all of the information that’s out there kind of points to guilt.”

In his interview for the documentary, Cosby described his irritation as he watched dark black makeup being applied to a white stuntman so that he could double for Cosby on the 1960s TV series “I Spy.”

“The day of the shooting, I showed up for that scene to see it,” he said in the interview. “I had no knowledge that there are no black stuntmen. I went over, and there was this white stuntman. … I looked at him and the lady is putting black – not a deep brown — she’s putting black around this guy, eyes and everything. So I’m … staring at this, and then they pulled his sleeve up and they put the black stuff all over his hands and all, and that too looked kind of funny. It was just black. Black, black, black — black on the neck. Then they pulled out this wig. Looks like they scalped a sheep and dyed it.”

Cosby objected, and the next day a black stuntman was hired to double for him. It was the first time a star ever had spoken out against the practice, and it helped launch the Black Stuntmen’s Association and the careers of many black stuntmen and women.

Black Stuntmen's Association
Black Stuntmen’s Association – early days

“He did a hell of a lot for black stuntmen,” said BSA president Willie Harris, who had a lengthy tribute to Cosby removed from the organization’s website recently. “If it hadn’t been for Cosby, I don’t think there would have been a Black Stuntmen’s Association. It’s not that we’re turning our backs on him, but the controversy is getting too much to deal with.”

The tribute had been on the website for years – long before Cosby became toxic. “Bill Cosby has been on television for so long, usually in rather silly sitcoms or commercials for Jello, it’s easy to forget that he used to be funny – and hip,” the tribute stated.

Founded in 1967 and honored with an NAACP Image Award for integrating the stunt industry, the BSA has decided, however, not to sanitize Cosby’s history with the organization. “Bill Cosby was the first established actor to break the glass ceiling by hiring black stuntmen for black actors when he starred on the television series I Spy,” its website still states. “This one act changed the common practice of using ‘paint down,’ forever changing the landscape of the motion picture and television industry.”

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9 COMMENTS

  1. It is sad….Cosby did some wonderful stuff for many of us in this industry myself included ….unfortunately it is like your terrific uncle that you later learn was molesting his kids and your cousins…..it no longer matters he is a predator and rape kills a part of a persons spirit their soul it leaves a wound that never heals and impacts their entire life….the faces of some of the women they are shattered not only the act but that no one would believe them it is devastating. This is much like the priests …..except it is one man ….most prolific rapist of all times ….will be his legacy… that is a damn shame.

    • While some Black Americans, White Americans, and other Americans are standing together against Bill Cosby by supporting his deposition being publicized and calling for additional laws to incarcerate more alleged rapists, at the penal phase, they are not together. Who are the people who will be incarcerated as a result of the additional laws? African Americans males (fathers, brothers, and sons), though representing 7.5 percent of U.S.’s population, constitute 65 percent of the people accused of- and imprisoned for- sexual assaults. And Black men comprise 62 percent of the people DNA testing have exonerated from wrongful imprisonment. Thus, Black men are not disproportionately imprisoned due to disproportionately committing crimes, but are disproportionately imprisoned due to their being more aggressively pursued.

      This is evident with Cosby being fiercely pursued while many others who are accused and/or convicted of sex crimes are not being similarly assailed. Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein allegedly sexually abused 34 underaged girls. Bill Clinton used Epstein’s private jet 10 times for travel in relation to the Clinton Foundation. And Donald Trump is a close friend of Epstein. Neither Clinton nor Trump are condemning Epstein. Neither are Cosby’s persecutors. And no one is pressuring anyone to condemn Epstein. We are not witnessing the Frankenstein hunt down of Epstein that is being commenced against Cosby.

      The inequitable persecution that is being carried out against Bill Cosby is the same inequitable persecution that is the cause for Black men being disproportionately accused of crimes and disproportionately imprisoned.

      Source: “Sex, Race,and Wrongful Convictions.” By Mathew Johnson. October 3, 2013. The Crime Report.

      • Thank you. It is so true. I’m not giving him a pass or anything -he’s dead wrong- but they are pursuing this so hard, like they always do with black men, and white men (wealthy and powerful) do all sorts of the same thing… I remember – back in the 60’s and 70’s there was Spanish Fly that was very popular- he wasn’t alone with these drugs…and it seems it was covered up until recently- a comedienne started this?- something else is behind this it seems to me…but he is wrong, sadly and his legacy will be forever changed…and my heart is broken…

  2. I don’t like it but his past work, have nothing to do B.C. achievements and everything he have done for black in film and everything he had done for black colleges,now we know what he said, there could be other reasons, how many time we have witnessed people going to prison only too find out later after doing 30 year they was innocent, maybe in this case , B.C. had to do this ,fearing being a riseing black star could end it all for him, this happened all the time where high profile people and famous people,rich people,politicians are blackmailed all the time , in this case we really don’t no ,the problem i have with this where was these women in between 1964 and 1995, how many time we have watch America News media build you and then tear you down only to destroy everything you work for, being rich and famous,im not saying some of the woman new what was going on , being B.C. some new what they was getting in too , only to ride the band wagon all the way to the bank.
    Cause you openly admit doesn’t mean it’s
    True, being black we have seen this happened to many time,

  3. The white us news media love to tear you down and destroy you in this case where they feel the can not get justice,the news media is using the court of public opinion and along the way destroy his relationship with other black star friend, tv network, .church’s and white ,black business,corporation that lists then drop him like a bad habit,

  4. Im sorry but our black media,politician,church,college tv flim star recording artist ,should not have a voice in this matter,we just don’t really no, do we, specially most of thr women being white, black people should not be helping the white media destroy any black men specially for something that happened 30 year ago

  5. Cosby, by his own actions, has managed to wipe away a legacy which had such a powerful impact on generations, across ethnic and racial lines. What a shame and a disgrace! However, the blame rests squarely on his shoulders and his alone. Unfortunately, many of his cast mates and colleagues will suffer as a result.

  6. These people ain’t ****. They are dropping him for the very same people he helped them win with. He needs to take his money and spend it on he and his family because the community he has always tried to help, has turned coat.

  7. Ramte we confess in the court of law everyday to matters that pressing us everyday ,that’s not true , you don’t have too be guilty by any mean ,our past have showed us that ,for what ever reason that deal between the both of them should have stay private, it’s the judge and media new exactly what they was doing, now im not saying he innocent but not saying he guilty either, the truth is we just don’t no

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