Bill Cosby Gets Away With Everything

At his show last night in London, Ontario, Bill Cosby made a joke about his rape allegations—proving, once again, the size of his ego.

Bill Cosby gets to make a rape joke.

Bill Cosby gets to crack wise with an audience member (a woman) at his second Canadian show in London, Ontario, who left her seat to grab a drink and asked if he wanted one as well.

Bill Cosby gets to smile and say, “You have to be careful about drinking around me.”

Bill Cosby gets laughs from his audience.

Bill Cosby gets paid by his fans for the set.

Bill Cosby gets to continue his public life while the accusations of rape and assault that go back decades into his career pile up. As of November 2014, 29 women came forward with stories of strange-tasting drinks, blacking out, waking up mid-assault or the following day. From their accounts, he was Jekyll and Hyde, a man who charmed television networks and family-friendly comedy audiences while drugging and raping women.

Bill Cosby gets defended by other celebrities. Several of his most vocal defenders are women. Whoopi Goldberg told her co-hosts at The View that she has “a lot of questions” for the women who accuse Bill Cosby of rape “because I know we all have friends who have gone through this.” Jill Scott told her Twitter followers that she will “side with substantiated proof when media/society is attempting to destroy a magnificent legacy.” Phylicia Rashad told ABC News that “what has happened is declaration in the media of guilt, without proof. And a legacy is being destroyed because of it. It’s being obliterated.”

Bill Cosby gets to invoke the power of that very legacy when speaking to the New York Post: “I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism and when you do that, you have to go in with a neutral mind.”

Bill Cosby gets to demand neutrality.

Bill Cosby gets the protection of other comedians. Patton Oswalt, who has spoken out against Cosby, told Pete Holmes of the You Made it Weird podcast that “What’s worse for comedians is a lot of us have known for a long fucking time. It was a very badly kept secret in the comedian world, and a lot of us would talk about it.”

Bill Cosby gets to have this “badly kept secret” until another comedian comes forward and tells people to “Google ‘Bill Cosby rape.’” Hannibal Burress later told Howard Stern that “It wasn’t my intention to make it part of a big discussion.” These stories were, after all, the equivalent of water-cooler talk among friends in the comedy world.

Bill Cosby gets to find all of this very amusing.

Bill Cosby gets to pass out notices along with the tickets: “Patrons have a right to enjoy tonight’s performance. Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated and will result in removal, possible legal action and/or banning from the venue.”

Bill Cosby gets his fans to see the light-hearted side of rape.

Bill Cosby gets to make a winking, sly reference to his victims’ accusations of sexual violence.

Bill Cosby gets a standing ovation.

Bill Cosby gets to move along with his stand-up tour.

Bill Cosby gets no jail time.

Bill Cosby gets to pass on making amends to his victims or any admission of guilt.

Bill Cosby gets to be a product of the society that loved him and made him a famous, rich, and respected man.

Bill Cosby gets to make a rape joke.

Allison McCarthy is a documentation specialist and freelance writer. Her work has been featured in print and online publications such as The Guardian, Role Reboot, AlterNet, Ms., Bitch, Girlistic, Global Comment, The Feminist Wire, ColorsNW, The Baltimore Review and Hoax, as well as in the anthologies Robot Hearts: Twisted and True Tales of Seeking Love in the Digital Age (Pinchback Press) and Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence (AK Press). She resides in the greater Washington, D.C., area. Find her on Twitter.

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