As probably nearly everyone could have accurately guessed, accusations against Bill Cosby of sexual assault (both old and new) are hurting the once wholesome star’s image.
In fact, Cosby has fallen from third to 2,615th place on a ranking of most trusted celebrities compiled by The Marketing Arm. The list, which includes more than 3,000 celebrities, is determined by online polls, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Celebrities at the top of this year’s trustworthiness list include Brian Williams, Betty White, and America’s Cool Dad Tom Hanks. Toward the bottom of the list, with Cosby, is Manti Te’o, the former Notre Dame linebacker who enraptured the nation with a story about his girlfriend who died of cancer, only for it to be revealed as a complete hoax.
While some of the accusations against Cosby — that he drugged and sexually assaulted numerous women throughout the past four decades — aren’t new, they are receiving more attention now than they ever did since comedian Hannibal Buress called Cosby a rapist during a set in Philadelphia, Cosby’s hometown. At last count, 16 women have come forward to accuse Cosby of similar allegations.
The 77-year-old actor has repeatedly refused to address the allegations. “People should fact check,” he told Florida Today. “People shouldn’t have to go through that and shouldn’t answer to innuendos.”
According to The Marketing Arm, Cosby’s trustworthiness isn’t the only thing that’s taken a hit. He now ranks 2,746th on a similar list of viable celebrity spokespeople. Cosby once held the 3rd spot on that list as well.
Just last week, NBC announced it was shelving a planned sitcom starring Cosby, Neflix indefinitely postponed a Cosby comedy special, and TV Land pulled reruns of The Cosby Show off the air.