On Monday, Bill Cosby had a social media movement go very wrong. The comedian added a #CosbyMeme generator to his web site. The feature allowed users to choose from a selection of Cosby photos and add their own captions. Though he did see some more innocuous responses — like this joke about his sweater choices — an overwhelming amount of memes focused on the rape accusations against Cosby.
In 2004, initial reports emerged that the 77-year-old comedian had sexually assaulted approximately 13 women. Those accusations — which Vulture noted are conveniently missing from Cosby's new book — were the fodder for #CosbyMeme to become a social media campaign turned against him.
America has formed an odd relationship with Cosby. For the most part, people choose to look past the serious accusations against him, preferring instead the nostalgic Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable from the comedian's eponymous The Cosby Show. As Gawker's Tom Scocca wrote in February, "Nobody wanted to live in a world where Bill Cosby was a sexual predator. It was too much to handle."
His alleged actions haven't been entirely forgotten, though. And, as The Washington Post noted in October, it seems the industry may finally be forcing Cosby to confront the accusations against him. Hannibal Buress broke comedic character on stage last month to address the issue. "If you didn’t know about it, when you leave here, Google ‘Bill Cosby rape.’ It’s not funny."
Cosby has since removed the meme generator from his site.