Malcolm-Jamal Warner Speaks Out on Bill Cosby and 'The Cosby Show' Being Taken Off Air: 'It's Literally Taking
By Desiree Murphy
Erica Parise/Warner Bros. Television
Malcolm-Jamal Warner is speaking out about his former co-star Bill Cosby.
The 45-year-old actor will be a guest March 7 on The Real, and in a preview clip he tells the hosts that he isn't happy about re-runs of The Cosby Show being pulled off the air in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against Cosby.
Warner, who played Cosby's son Theo in the classic '80s sitcom, says he feels "several different ways" about it.
"One, because the show was taken off the air; it's literally taking money out of my pocket," the New Jersey native explains. "So I got my own personal feelings about that, because it personally affects me."
"But even outside of that," he adds, "you just look at how the media is playing this whole thing out. And I can't help but think about Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, Stephen Collins… it's very clear, you know, the crimes they've committed."
Like Cosby, Allen, Polanski and Collins have all faced sexual assault allegations, yet, their work is still celebrated, Warner says. Allen is responsible for writing and directing a myriad of movies, including Midnight in Paris, Blue Jasmine and Annie Hall. Collins is best known for his role as Rev. Erin Camden on 7th Heaven, and Polanksi's directing credits include The Pianist, Oliver Twist and Rosemary's Baby.
"There's no one that has been calling for Woody's movies to be pulled off the air," Warner says. "Roman Polanski is still celebrated. Stephen Collins' show still comes on. So it's just interesting how it's very unbalanced. They were trying to take Mr. Cosby's star off the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And I am in no position to defend him because I can't. But nor will I throw him under the bus."
Cosby's case is ongoing, but the 78-year-old comedian has denied any wrongdoing. Collins, on the other hand, confessed to having inappropriate sexual contact with female minors, but has never been charged with a crime. Polanski fled to France hours before his final sentencing for charges of having "unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor," and Allen has never been charged.
Though The Cosby Show is no longer on the air (but is still streaming on Hulu), Warner told ET that its legacy still stands.
"Its influence on a generation of young people who went out and sought a higher education because of the show, a generation of people who have gotten married and focused on having loving families because they were influenced by that show, that part cannot be taken away," he told ET last month. "You can't reverse any of that."
As we wait to watch Warner's full interview on The Real airing Monday, March 7 (check your local listings to find out where to watch), press play on the video below to hear more on the alleged sexual assault claims against Cosby.