Celebs react to Bill Cosby's sentencing

After 60 accusers, a stand-up comedy routine that brought the allegations into the national spotlight, and two trials, Bill Cosby was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison on Sept. 25, 2018, for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. Known for decades as "America's Dad," the nation watched as Cosby was labeled a "sexually violent predator" then led away in handcuffs.

"For decades, the defendant has been able to hide his true self and hide his crimes using his fame and fortune. He's hidden behind a character created, Dr. Cliff Huxtable," Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said. "Finally, Bill Cosby has been unmasked, and we have seen the real man as he is headed off to prison." 

For many of his accusers, Cosby's sentence was a day of reckoning. For others, like his publicist, Andrew Wyatt, it was "the most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States." But in the age of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, the news of Cosby's sentencing broke fast on social media, and as expected, the celebrity world was quick to react. While some stars cheered the sentence, others felt it wasn't long enough, and many couldn't help but compare Cosby to other controversial men in positions of power. So, have a seat and check out the celebrity reactions from the latest episode of The Cosby Show.

Janice Dickinson

Former model Janice Dickinson, who accused Bill Cosby of drugging and raping her in 1982, was present at the trial, seated in the second row behind Andrea Constand. According to The Huffington Post, security threatened to throw her out during the proceedings when she looked at Cosby and said, "See, I got the last laugh pal."

Immediately after the sentence, Dickinson released a statement (which the judge did not allow her to read in open court) through her attorney, Lisa Bloom. "The harrowing memory of the rape continues to this day," Dickinson said. "I have reoccurring nightmares, I wake up in fear, I fear the dark. I struggle to discuss this even with my beloved husband of six years." Revealing that the rape "shattered" her ability to trust and forced her to move out of the country to never see Cosby again, she says what happened in 1982 will forever be "etched" into her soul.

Alyssa Milano

Not only is actress Alyssa Milano an outspoken proponent of the #MeToo movement, but she also started the version of the campaign that we know today after the allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein came to light. "My hope is people will get the idea of the magnitude, of just how many people have been affected by this in the world, in our lifetimes, in this country," she told The Associated Press in 2017. "The most important thing that it did was to shift the conversation away from the predator and to the victim."

It should come as no surprise that Milano was one of the first celebrities to take to social media and share her thoughts on Bill Cosby's prison sentence. "What happens when we hold people accountable for their abuses of power.  

Jemele Hill

"Sure, I mourn the idea of Cosby — as in the TV show that made me want to attend a black college and heightened the importance of a black family," the former ESPN personality tweeted. "But my mom is a rape survivor and I survived a rape attempt as a preteen. I have negative f***s about what happens to Cosby."

Jemele Hill is no stranger to wading into controversial topics of the day with her special brand of social justice insight, and the Bill Cosby news was no exception. "There is great imbalance in our criminal justice system. We know this," she tweeted. "But your position can't be, because Cosby is black, he should get the right to rape without repercussions like a white dude. Trash position."

Amber Tamblyn

Amber Tamblyn became a public soldier in the war against powerful men when she called out actor James Woods for trying to take her to Las Vegas when she was just 16. A cursory scroll through her Twitter (which includes "#TimesUp sister" in her bio) will let you know she's been fighting that battle ever since. 

Tamblyn took to Twitter to voice her frustration with the length of Bill Cosby's sentence, suggesting it was too light when compared to the decades-long suffering of his victims. "Bill Cosby has been sentenced to 3-10 years for drugging and sexually assaulting many women over the course of many years," she tweeted. "His survivors have been sentenced to a lifetime of brutal memories and trauma for daring to exist in the first place. Super fair I guess."

OJ Simpson

OJ Simpson spent nine years in prison for kidnapping and armed robbery (He also beat murder charges. Maybe you heard about it.) So if anybody knows what life will be like for Bill Cosby in the clink, it's the disgraced football star. 

"The problem is the nature of the crime. Rapists are frowned upon in prison," Simpson told TMZ. "I'm sure there will be guys protecting him but they're gonna have to put him in protective custody … because it takes one nut, ya know?" 

Simpson went on to say that Cosby's sentence was too severe and "they should let him do his time under house arrest." He added, "With his health and his age and the nature of the crime, there's not a warden in this country wants the responsibility of a Bill Cosby."

Debra Messing

When she's not feuding with Susan Sarandon on Twitter over the 2016 election results, Will & Grace star Debra Messing maintains an active presence on social media, usually sharing her thoughts on all things political. When Bill Cosby's sentence was handed down, she pointed out the overwhelming number of accusations it took for him to stand trial and vocalized her continuing support for Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, women who've accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually misconduct in the '80s.

"Today a PA court deemed #BillCosby a Violent Sexual Predator b4 sentencing him," the actress tweeted. "For decades people maligned & decried his accusers as LIARS. It took 60+ accusers 2 finally bring his survivors justice & vindication. Have we learned nothing? #IBelieveDrFord #IBelieveDeborahRamirez"

Chelsea Handler

Comedian Chelsea Handler left E! in 2014 and launched the Netflix docuseries Chelsea in 2016. After two seasons, Handler walked away from her talk show to focus on activism. "Like so many across the country, the past presidential election and the countless events that have unfolded since have galvanized me. From the national level down to the grassroots, it's clear our decisions at the ballot box next year will mark a defining moment for our nation," she wrote in 2017.

But she still has jokes. "Bill Cosby is set to serve 3 to 10 years in prison, but when he's released he's expected to be nominated to the Supreme Court," she tweeted when news of Bill Cosby's sentence broke, referencing the aforementioned Brett Kavanaugh.

D.L. Hughley

Sitcom star and one of The Original Kings of Comedy, D.L. Hughley, wondered why the sentence handed down to Bill Cosby doesn't also apply to U.S. President Donald Trump or Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. "#Cosby gets 3-10 years for sexual assault. #Trump admits on tape to sexual assault against women & he becomes president," Hughley tweeted. "#Kavanaugh has been accused & yet he's up for #SupremeCourtJudge. If we're gonna convict sexual predators to the pen, shouldn't we convict them all?" Hughley didn't let up. "#Cosby is going to jail #Kavanaugh is getting promoted!" he tweeted

Geraldo Rivera

Attorney, talk show host, and frequent Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera agreed with Bill Cosby's prison sentence but feels the convicted entertainer he won't be in the clink for long due to the judge's handling of the case. 

"By most/all accounts #BillCosby was a sexual predator who left a trail of human misery & despair-Sentenced to 3-10 in state pen, he had it coming," Rivera tweeted. "Still as an attorney, I predict his conviction will be overturned. Judge went way over the line in allowing unrelated victim testimony."

Travon Free

Comedian Travon Free, who's written content for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and The Daily Show, also weighed in on the complex conversations surrounding Bill Cosby's sentencing, sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and race. And he clearly wasn't laughing or making light of the matter.

"According to a select subset of black men, Bill Cosby should be allowed to get away with rape because other white men are either awaiting trial or were never charged for it?" Free tweeted, along with a GIF depicting a confusing math equation.

Judd Apatow

Writer/director Judd Apatow is a strong vocal supporter of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements on social media and has blasted organizations that gave Bill Cosby a platform to perform despite facing sexual assault allegations. Although Apatow has faced criticism for continuing to work with the likes of James Franco and Andy Dick, who've also been accused of sexual misconduct, the executive producer of Freaks and Geeks was one of the first to rush to Twitter to share his thoughts on Cosby's sentence.

"I am so glad Bill Cosby's victims got some justice today," the Trainwreck director tweeted. "Your courage and strength is an inspiration."

Rosie O'Donnell

If comedian Rosie O'Donnell was still on the air with The Rosie O'Donnell Show, we expect the six-time Emmy winner would have a lot to say about current events. Today, she uses her social media influence to discuss the topics that are important to her. Linking to a statement by one of Bill Cosby's accusers, Andrea Constand, in The Huffington Post, O'Donnell tweeted: "Thank you Andrea Constand – for ur courage – what her life has been like since being assaulted by Bill Cosby."

Karamo Brown

Queer Eye culture expert Karamo Brown pushed back on the racial arguments being made to decry Bill Cosby's sentencing. "Friends, I'm having having an issue w/ all the post I'm seeing trying to make #BillCosby's conviction about race," Brown tweeted. "This moment is not about race it's about women… women finally getting some small bit of justice! Let me know if you agree?"

He elaborated in an attached video: "I'm a black man, and I understand there are systemic issues in this country that need to be addressed. But this moment here is not about race. This moment is about all the women who have said, 'I have been hurt, raped, abused,' by these men in power who use their power to hurt them, and finally, for once, there has been some type of vindication for them. Finally, somebody got their day in court. Finally, their voices were heard and mattered."

John Fugelsang

Comedian and former America's Funniest Home Videos host John Fugelsang has carved out a niche on social media with his political hot takes. You've probably seen them on Facebook or retweeted them once or twice. His take on the sentencing was just as provoking.

Fugelsang facetiously suggested that Bill Cosby is going to the one place where rape is legal. "Bill Cosby sentenced to jail because America doesn't allow rape," he tweeted. "He'll now do 3-10 years in our prison system, where America allows rape."

Albert Brooks

Comedian and famous Oscar-snub Albert Brooks tweeted, "Bill Cosby gets new advertising campaign: Jail-O." 

Cosby was known for his Jell-O pudding commercials, and in a brutal twist of irony, TMZ reported that  Cosby will be served "a chicken patty with gravy, mixed veggies, mashed potatoes, iced tea mix … and, of course, vanilla pudding," during his first night behind bars at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. "No official word on the brand of pudding … but hopefully it's Jell-O. That'd be poetic justice, wouldn't it?" It appears that joke was the dish of the day on social media.

Gloria Allred

Gloria Allred, the high-powered women's rights attorney who has represented women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault, was present at the Philadelphia courthouse when Cosby's sentence was handed down. 

"We're glad that judgement day has finally come for Mr. Cosby," she said (via CBS Philly). "Mr. Cosby has shown no remorse, and there has been no justice for many of the accusers who were barred from a court by the arbitrary time-limit imposed by the statute of limitations, but many of them were brave enough to speak to law enforcement and some of them were chosen to testify as prior bad act witnesses."