Throughout the eight-season run of the classic sitcom that bears his name, Bill Cosby literally played the role of a father figure to Malcolm Jamal-Warner.
Beginning when he was just 14 years old, Warner played Theo Huxtable, the only son of Cosby's Dr. Cliff Huxtable, and the sometimes funny, sometimes heartfelt scenes in which Cliff imparted his fatherly wisdom to Theo quickly became the stuff of TV legend.
So it shouldn't be a surprise that Warner is sticking by his TV dad in the face of dozens of rape accusations against Cosby.
What certainly is a surprise, however, is the fact that Warner saw fit to compare Cosby's current woes with the trauma suffered by victims of sexual assault.
"Just as it's painful to hear any woman talk about sexual assault, whether true or not," Warner said in a recent interview with Billboard. "It's just as painful to watch my friend and mentor go through this."
We're hoping that Warner didn't intend to make such an offensive comparison between Cosby's situation and the plight of his alleged victims, but it's hard to imagine what else he might have meant by that comment.
Already, Camille Cosby defended her husband, and Bill's daughter Evin Cosby attacked his accusers online, and in both cases, the women either implied or stated flat-out that the alleged victims are nothing buy lying opportunists.
Warner's remarks might be even more offensive, however, as in his effort to avoid addressing the victims' claims directly, he trivializes the suffering of all sexual assault victims.
Again, his statements seem more ill-considered than malicious, but we think the smartest strategy for Warner going forward would be to simply avoid any discussion of this atrocious situation unless he has a more compassionate insight to contribute.
Oh, and making a hefty donation to a woman's shelter to atone for his foolishness wouldn't hurt either.