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March 4, 2015

'Rape Trumps Race': Is Bill Cosby's Image Tarnished in Black History?

Bill Cosby ASSOCIATED PRESS

As Black History Month comes and goes, television shows that foster black pride also come and go. I understand that many black men attached their self worth and their manhood to the character Bill Cosby made famous. In retrospect, I do not believe we need to look at television to give us our self worth.

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Tempestt Bledsoe & Darryl Bell: A New 'Reality' With 'Househusbands' Show

Comments (88)



While audiences across the nation are glued to their television sets for Bravo's hit series 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta,' FOX Reality TV has decided to garner some attention of its own.

Beginning Aug. 15, former 'Cosby Show' and 'A Different World' stars Tempestt Bledsoe and Darryl M. Bell will be featured in the network's all-new reality series, 'Househusbands of Hollywood.'

The show will highlight husbands juggling the household duties of cooking dinner, planning parties and chauffeuring kids around Los Angeles. The men, who also have career aspirations of their own, will share stories with each other about their money-making wives.

Despite the show's title, Bledsoe and Bell have been together for 16 years and are not married with children. Their relationship attracted executive producer Marilyn Wilson, who saw a test reel for the show and thought the couple was entertaining.

"We have actually worked on projects with Marilyn Wilson. We have gone out to pitch projects," the former 'Cosby' star said in an interview with 'Entertainment Tonight.' "So when they came to us with this ... Marilyn is probably the only person in the world who could have gotten us to do a reality show."
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The Cosby Show
The Cosby Show: Where Are They Now?
Though it was a big deal when it first premiered on the NBC network on Sept. 20, 1984, no one could've expected that the groundbreaking sitcom 'The Cosby Show,' would resonate so well with national audiences and make history as one of the most successful TV shows in history. But it did. Revolving around the life and times of The Huxtables, an upper-middle class African-American family living in a brownstone building in Brooklyn, New York, the Bill Cosby-helmed series was TV's biggest hit in the 1980s, according to TV Guide. Blackvoices.com takes a look at the cast members then and now. (Photo: Everett Collection)
BlackVoices.com

Mel B Pictures

    In this photo provided by Kraft Foods, Spice Girl "Mel B" poses for a photo wearing a T-shirt she designed based on the classic pink ribbon used for breast cancer awareness, after a fashion show and launch of "Pose for the Cure" web site to help Kraft Foods raise money for the 'Susan G. Komen for the Cure' fight against breast cancer in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008. The shirt is for sale on the web site and the net proceeds will benefit the foundation. (AP Photo/Kraft Foods, Ray Stubblebine) **NO SALES**

    AP

    In this photo provided by Kraft Foods, Spice Girl "Mel B" poses for a photo wearing a T-shirt she designed based on the classic pink ribbon used for breast cancer awareness, after a fashion show and launch of "Pose for the Cure" web site to help Kraft Foods raise money for the 'Susan G. Komen for the Cure' fight against breast cancer in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008. The shirt is for sale on the web site and the net proceeds will benefit the foundation. (AP Photo/Kraft Foods, Ray Stubblebine) **NO SALES**

    AP

    In this undated image released by Oxfam Tuesday Sept. 23, 2008, British singer Mel B participates in the 'In My Name' global campaign calling for action against poverty and demanding world leaders keep their promises on millennium development goals. (AP Photo/Oxfam, HO) ** NO SALES **

    AP

    In this photo provided by Kraft Foods, Spice Girl Mel B, left, serves as the emcee at a fashion show and launch of "Pose for the Cure" web site to help Kraft Foods raise money for the 'Susan G. Komen for the Cure' fight against breast cancer in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008. Mel B wears a T-shirt she designed based on the classic pink ribbon used for breast cancer awareness. The shirt is for sale on the web site and the net proceeds will benefit the foundation. The woman at right is unidentified. (AP Photo/Kraft Foods, Ray Stubblebine) **NO SALES**

    AP

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: TV personality and designer Khloe Kardashian and Olympic-level swimmer and model Amanda Beard (R) pose backstage at the Mel B With Ultimo Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images )

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Ultimo Scottish designer lingerie brand founder Michelle Mone (L) and pop singer Melanie Brown pose backstage at the Mel B With Ultimo Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images )

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Pop singer Melanie Brown poses backstage at the Mel B With Ultimo Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images )

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Pop singer Melanie Brown and Olympic-level swimmer and model Amanda Beard (R) pose backstage at the Mel B With Ultimo Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images )

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Pop singer Melanie Brown and singer Aubrey O'Day (R) poses backstage at the Mel B With Ultimo Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images )

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Pop singer Melanie Brown, Olympic-level swimmer and model Amanda Beard, singer Aubrey O'Day and TV personality and designer Khloe Kardashian pose backstage at the Mel B With Ultimo Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images )

    Getty Images


"I think the thing that most people will be surprised about is that we are on the show," said the Chicago native, who became a household name when she played Vanessa Huxtable. "Not only do we not talk about our private life, we don't do this type of show. We don't fit into the mold of show, so I constantly get that question. I hope people will get past the title and see what these men are doing: pursuing their careers, taking care of their children. I have nothing but respect for that."

Respect indeed.

Although the new series may appear to be just another commodity among today's prime-time lineup, show producers wanted to open up a timely dialogue. The increasing trend of husbands staying at home and raising families due to the current economic crisis is a demographic shift that has hit men harder then women.

Reuters reports that according to U.S. labor statistics, unemployment rates among men grew at nearly double the pace of women in 2008, to 7.9 percent from 5.0 percent for men and to 6.4 percent from 4.8 percent for women. This is the fact that Bledsoe thinks will benefit the show's potential success.

"I think this [program] shows in a very positive and realistic light what it is for a man to take over the role [of child raising], and I have a lot of admiration for them," she said during a presentation to TV critics. "It is easy to cast these men as something not very manly. ...I think that's a real disservice. The time is good to look at this show and see these men for what they really are."

"The fact that there are men who are raising their children should enable stay-at-home dads," said Bell. "Hopefully, we are looking at it from the humorous point of view and everyone enjoys that and enjoys the dynamic between all of the guys."

Also featured on 'House Husbands of Hollywood' are former Los Angeles Dodger Billy Ashley, whose wife, Lisa, is a celebrity makeup artist; former Marine sniper Grant Reynolds, who is married to FOX 11 morning news show host Jillian Reynolds; and aspiring actor Danny Barclay, whose wife, Katherine, is a high-powered LA lawyer.




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Reality Bites
Keeping It "Real"
BlackVoices.com takes a look at famous and infamous reality TV show stars of the past and present. Come on in.
VH1, Getty Images
BlackVoices.com

Mel B Pictures

    In this photo provided by Kraft Foods, Spice Girl "Mel B" poses for a photo wearing a T-shirt she designed based on the classic pink ribbon used for breast cancer awareness, after a fashion show and launch of "Pose for the Cure" web site to help Kraft Foods raise money for the 'Susan G. Komen for the Cure' fight against breast cancer in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008. The shirt is for sale on the web site and the net proceeds will benefit the foundation. (AP Photo/Kraft Foods, Ray Stubblebine) **NO SALES**

    AP

    In this photo provided by Kraft Foods, Spice Girl "Mel B" poses for a photo wearing a T-shirt she designed based on the classic pink ribbon used for breast cancer awareness, after a fashion show and launch of "Pose for the Cure" web site to help Kraft Foods raise money for the 'Susan G. Komen for the Cure' fight against breast cancer in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008. The shirt is for sale on the web site and the net proceeds will benefit the foundation. (AP Photo/Kraft Foods, Ray Stubblebine) **NO SALES**

    AP

    In this undated image released by Oxfam Tuesday Sept. 23, 2008, British singer Mel B participates in the 'In My Name' global campaign calling for action against poverty and demanding world leaders keep their promises on millennium development goals. (AP Photo/Oxfam, HO) ** NO SALES **

    AP

    In this photo provided by Kraft Foods, Spice Girl Mel B, left, serves as the emcee at a fashion show and launch of "Pose for the Cure" web site to help Kraft Foods raise money for the 'Susan G. Komen for the Cure' fight against breast cancer in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008. Mel B wears a T-shirt she designed based on the classic pink ribbon used for breast cancer awareness. The shirt is for sale on the web site and the net proceeds will benefit the foundation. The woman at right is unidentified. (AP Photo/Kraft Foods, Ray Stubblebine) **NO SALES**

    AP

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: TV personality and designer Khloe Kardashian and Olympic-level swimmer and model Amanda Beard (R) pose backstage at the Mel B With Ultimo Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images )

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Ultimo Scottish designer lingerie brand founder Michelle Mone (L) and pop singer Melanie Brown pose backstage at the Mel B With Ultimo Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images )

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Pop singer Melanie Brown poses backstage at the Mel B With Ultimo Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images )

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Pop singer Melanie Brown and Olympic-level swimmer and model Amanda Beard (R) pose backstage at the Mel B With Ultimo Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images )

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Pop singer Melanie Brown and singer Aubrey O'Day (R) poses backstage at the Mel B With Ultimo Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images )

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Pop singer Melanie Brown, Olympic-level swimmer and model Amanda Beard, singer Aubrey O'Day and TV personality and designer Khloe Kardashian pose backstage at the Mel B With Ultimo Spring 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Metropolitan Pavilion on September 9, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images )

    Getty Images

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