It’s been an interesting few days since EBONY dropped the first look at its November issue, which has caused a huge debate in the Black community. Many commended the venerable publication for its provocative cover that features a shattered picture of the fictional Huxtable family, while others slammed the magazine for the “distasteful” image.

Amid the controversy, EBONY editor-in-chief, Kierna Mayo stopped by CNN to discuss the cover and folks’ strong reactions to it.

During her interview with Don Lemon, Mayo admitted she hasn’t “slept in two days because of the anxiety around bringing a topic this sensitive to Black America would keep one up.”

Mayo told Lemon Black America must “confront our fears” about Bill Cosby and the legacy of the Cosby Show in the wake of the rape allegations levied against him.

“Should we separate the man from the fictional character who we all exalted, loved, needed, and in some respects, worshiped?” she asked.

No matter what side of the debate about Cosby and the EBONY cover you come down on, like Mayo said, we’ve got to have the conversation.

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  • Lelani

    “Should we separate the man from the fictional character who we all exalted, loved, needed and in some respects, worshipped?” Yes we should separate the man from the fictional character. And no, no one worshipped Bill Cosby. People enjoyed the television show and the characters, but no one is exalting and worshipping no man, especially a television character. People are going too far with this and this continued dialogue on how the black community “needs” the Cosby Show is misleading and insulting. People know the difference between real life and television. Black doctors are scarce, but there are black doctors, Cliff Huxtable was not the only one.

  • [email protected]

    The problem is that this issue has been placed under the rug by some for so long. One truth is that we should never worship false idols and the Ebony cover just told the truth that we must have a conversation on abuse, rape, and the mistreatment of women. I don’t see how anyone can be angry at Mayo for this in my view. Many of the same ones angry at the cover are not angry at the abuse of women, some of them aren’t angry at the epidemic of the abuse of black lives, and some of them aren’t angry at how respectability politics (or the view that there is some formula of being acceptable to mainstream token mores and act in a certain fashion in order for black people to be free or to not experience racism. We know that to be fantasy) has distorted what real liberation is all about. We want to have the conservation, heal, and use action in correcting evils. One part of the solution is the confront evils. Kierna Mayo has done a great job in talking about this issue.

    • Chazz A

      Agreed, those who quote, “slammed the magazine for the distasteful image” are out of touch with reality and have been consumed by fictional characterization.
      We have a hell of a lot more to be concerned about than a fictional character on a television show.
      The legacy of the show is irrelevant. Bill Cosby needs to be held accountable, Cliff Huxtable does not exist.

    • [email protected]


      We have to deal with reality and not fiction. There are countless activists who are standing up for the lives of our people. There are much more vital issues that we should deal with from poverty to police brutality. It is really important for people to realize that we are in this battle. There is no escape from us doing our responsibility to resist evil. Bill Cosby has done some evil, revolting actions that he should be held accountable for his own actions. We will defend the humanity of the oppressed.

    • Chazz A

      No doubt, Cosby has to bear this cross on his own.
      We are about to lose an entire generation of young black brothers and sisters to the system of white supremacy.
      The preservation of our youth in this country supersedes
      the Cosby dilemma, in my opinion.

    • [email protected]

      You’re right. Some people are arguing over a magazine cover when our people are being murdered and discriminated against. Some folks have to get their prioritizes straight. The system of white supremacy is very brutal. Therefore, the young Brothers and Sisters have every right to have the Knowledge of Self so they are equipped to deal with the issues of life.

  • Mary Burrell

    I never worshiped him even when the show was in it’s heyday i was proud that it was a positive representation of the black family and i respected that it represented another image of black folks in a different socioeconomic level other living in the ghetto. White people didn’t want to believe that blacks were professionals and had educations. Other than that i agree that people need to know the difference between fictional Cliff Huxtable and the real Bill Cosby. So, yes i believe black America needs to have this conversation.

  • Mary Burrell

    The two idioms about the god’s having clay feet and how the mighty have fallen bring Bill Cosby to mind.