Philadelphia Paints Over Mural Depicting Disgraced Entertainer Bill Cosby

Photo: Matt Rourke/AP.

A Philadelphia mural depicting disgraced actor and entertainer Bill Cosby has been painted over, following revelations that he admitted in a 2005 court deposition to obtaining Quaaludes and giving them to women before having sexual relations with them.

The Father’s Day-themed mural, which was managed by Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program and also featured Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr., had fallen into a state of disrepair. It was scheduled to be whitewashed prior to the resurfacing of the Cosby allegations.

The date to remove the mural was moved up as it became increasingly a target for anti-Cosby graffiti. Tags like “dude with ludes” and “rapist” littered the building’s facade, according to the Philadelphia City Paper.

Photo: Emma Lee/WHYY.

Photo: Emma Lee/WHYY.

The mural was painted in 2000 and renovated in 2008—eight years after the initial allegations were leveled against Cosby by actress Lachele Covington, and four years after those by Andrea Constand.

The Mural Arts Program has plans to repaint a similar mural—sans Cosby—in a new location in the city.

Meanwhile, in Washington, DC, no decision has been made about a well-known Cosby mural outside the famous restaurant Ben’s Chili Bowl, which also features a portrait of President Obama.

“It’s been there for a long time,” manager Mike Herz told Fox 5 news. “Bill Cosby was a big part of our history that’s for sure, but right now, unfortunately I can’t comment about it yet.”

Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images.

Photo: Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images.

“I think we’re going to let the country decide for us,” said W. Ellington Felton, a close friend of the restaurant’s managers, told Fox 5 news. “[W]e’re figuring out the right way to allow the country to decide.”

“It’s out of respect for the artist, the actual artist, because it’s a full mural. So that’s really what we’re waiting for,” Felton continued. The artist has made no comments regarding the mural or its removal.

The Smithsonian has also been in hot water recently for concealing donations made by Cosby to the institution, and for displaying work on loan from his personal collection, which he shares with his wife, Camille Cosby.


Follow Artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share

Article topics
Subscribe or log in to read the rest of this content.

You are currently logged into this Artnet News Pro account on another device. Please log off from any other devices, and then reload this page continue. To find out if you are eligible for an Artnet News Pro group subscription, please contact [email protected]. Standard subscriptions can be purchased on the subscription page.

Log In