If you have watched any television shows in recent years, you have probably noticed the lack of enviable characters. In some cases, they are not even likable.

When you have shows, like Hannibal and Blacklist, become so popular with audiences that they are considered great shows, we have lost our way.

The two leading men in these series are violent and certainly could not be considered any kind of role model for others.

I personally do not think we should ever use fictional characters as reference points of good people qualities because they are just actors playing a role. I also believe superstar athletes and wayward politicians should be excluded as well. In fact, not many people are worthy of such trust.

However, we often find ourselves enjoying shows that give us a down-home, good feeling while simultaneously serving up a portion of life lessons. All in the span of one hour.

It is the way we entertain ourselves.

The characters in such shows do a convincing job of portraying a likeable, empathetic individual who solves all the families’ troubles with a kind dose of reality and lots of family bonding moments.

Consequently, we make the mistake of assuming the actors must be nice people in real life too. But we would be wrong, and that fact has been proven many times over.

Desi Arnaz or Ricky Ricardo, from the I Love Lucy series portrayed a devoted family man to his wacky, comedian partner, Lucy. In real life, he was reportedly a compulsive womanizer who continually cheated on his wife.

Loveable Fred Sanford, who made us all laugh in his family comedy, Sanford and Son, performed X-rated comedy shows at Las Vegas clubs in his spare time.

Brady Bunch dad, Robert Reed was great at giving advice to his blended family that included six children and a wife. In reality, Reed was hiding the fact he was gay in order to protect his career.

Actor Stephen Collins, from the family sitcom, 7th Heaven, was a father figure to his church congregation on television. His actions out of view of the cameras were a different story. In 2014, Collins admitted he had molested several underage girls.

When it comes to tv dads, no one was more loved that Dr. Cliff Huxtable, AKA actor, Bill Cosby.

There was a time Cosby was the model media father. He was a strong, wise, adorable dad who always showed kindness and love to his tv wife and children.

The Cosby Show portrayed strong family and social values, while making us laugh each week.

He even wrote a book in 1986, titled “Fatherhood.”

I mean, who would not want advice from such a cuddly, caring dad like Dr. Cliff Huxtable?

Turns out, Bill Cosby is no Dr. Huxtable in any regard.

In 2018, Bill Cosby was found guilty of drugging and molesting a Temple University employee. Cosby claimed the sex was consensual. The woman, who is gay, said she had considered Cosby her friend and mentor.

 He was sentenced to three to ten years in a Pennsylvania prison.

Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out Cosby’s sexual assault conviction and released him from prison after having served just three years.

The court ruled that the prosecutor who brought the case was bound by his predecessor’s agreement not to prosecute Cosby.

In other words, he was released due to a legal technicality and not because he had not engaged in the acts for which he was convicted.

Cosby’s spokesperson said the conviction being overturned was a sign of “justice for all Americans” who are “being treated unfairly by the judicial system.”

If the court’s action were about justice, then this guy would still be locked up.

Cosby, when under oath in a deposition as part of a lawsuit, admitted he gave quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with.

In other words, he took away the women’s ability to consent to a sex act with him. In most instances this is a textbook definition of rape.

After the information from the deposition was made public, 60 women came forward to say Cosby violated them. Up until then, they had been afraid no one would believe them because Cosby was “America’s Dad.”

Last week, after celebrating his release, Cosby said he is feeling “exuberant” and is telling folks he is planning a world tour comedy act. He is reportedly planning shows in the United States, Canada and London.

Good luck with that venture.

 I would be shocked if people actually paid money to see this man. Once you witness a person’s true character, you cannot unsee it and forgiveness is even more difficult.

Maya Angelou said it best. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

Anita McGill is a former publisher of The Sentinel. She can be reached by email at anitamcgill99@gmail.com.

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