Cosby: The Women Speak Airs New Details About Sexual Abuse Scandal

Image courtesy of A&E.
Less than two months after New York magazine released its revelatory feature on 35 women who have come forward with allegations of being drugged and/or sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby, their voices continue to be heard. Tonight, at 9 p.m. EST, A&E will air its own special on the scandal, entitled Cosby: The Women Speak. After previewing the hour-long special, I can confirm: The women absolutely do speak, and what they have to say is both heartbreaking and frightening. Audiences are in for harrowing stories and never-before-heard details about the alleged assaults the women experienced at the hands of the once-revered comedian. The women also delve deep into the many reasons why it took so long for them to come forward: As one alleged victim put it, because she’d been drugged, “I didn’t know what had happened. If you don’t know anything, then how can you go to someone and say ‘I’ve been molested or raped’?” The Women Speak also highlights the moment when the long-whispered abuse claims — which date back to the beginning of the Cosby's career — were finally taken seriously: the viral Hannibal Buress stand-up sketch in which he plainly stated that Bill Cosby raped women. But not all the alleged victims are fans of Buress' comments. As one woman puts it in the special: "A man is making a joke about it in his stand-up routine. And suddenly everyone believes him." It's clearly painful that a man's word was what it took to finally shine the light on the struggles of dozens of women. We've been watching the scandal unfurl for months now, but Cosby: The Women Speak is perhaps the first time we truly get to hear these women recount their stories aloud. It's also the first time we really get to see the comedian's boldness with women paired against his rising celebrity. The pattern that emerges is frightening. And that's exactly why it's worth paying close attention.

Cosby: The Women Speak airs at 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, September 17 on A&E. Check back at 10 p.m. for our full review of the special.

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