A New York museum dedicated to the preservation of artifacts related to film and television has confirmed that they have removed a sweater worn by Bill Cosby from their core collection exhibition in Astoria Queens. They removed the sweater quietly, without any announcement or statement sometime last month.
The Museum of the Moving Image maintains the nation’s largest and most comprehensive collection of artifacts relating to the art, history, and technology of the moving image— including film, television and digital images. The museums’ core collection includes hundreds of historic and pop culture costumes, artifacts, props and sets, including Travis Bickle’s mohawk, Robin Williams’ costume from Mork & Mindy and the famous Freddy Kreuger sweater and glove from Nightmare on Elm Street. Until recently that collection included one of the famous sweaters worn by Bill Cosby’s character, Cliff Huxtable in the television series The Cosby Show. The brightly colored sweaters were designed by Koos van den Akker.
A Museum representative confirmed to us that the sweater has indeed been removed from the collection but would not comment on why Cosby’s sweater is no longer a part of the exhibition. “We have no further comment,” she said.
The sweater’s removal from exhibition at MOMI is just the most recent in a long list of decisions to disassociate with Cosby in the wake of allegations of sexual assault made by dozens of women. Most recently a Philadelphia mural containing Cosby’s likeness was painted over, Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park removed a statue of Bill from their Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame Plaza, both the Bounce and Centric networks have dropped Cosby Show reruns from their programming, and interviews with Cosby have been removed from a documentary on black stuntmen. Fellow comedians Jerry Seinfeld and David Letterman asked to have their words praising Cosby’s role in comedy removed from a Cosby biography, which by the way, will not be reprinted in any form, and there has been a call to remove Cosby’s star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame but the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has said they have no plans to remove the star.
One month ago, museum visitor Christen Clifford photographed the sweater on display and posted it on instagram with the comment, “Dear Museum of The Moving Image in #queens – we love you but time to take that #Cosby sweater OFF display. He’s a rapist. Thank you, Humans”