How Bill Cosby's 'Pound Cake' Came Back to Bite Him

2004 NAACP lecture 'used to shame others ... now being used to shame him'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2015 7:16 AM CDT
Updated Jul 11, 2015 10:31 AM CDT
How Bill Cosby's 'Pound Cake' Came Back to Bite Him
In this Nov. 6, 2013, file photo, comedian Bill Cosby performs at Madison Square Garden in New York.   (John Minchillo/Invision/AP, File)

If Bill Cosby had simply stuck to stand-up and Fat Albert over the years, the damning deposition revealed yesterday in which he confessed to obtaining drugs to sedate women may have remained sealed. That's the crux of Justin Wm. Moyer's article in the Washington Post, which explains how one of Cosby's most famous lectures helped "[crown] himself a moral crusader" and "may … go down in history as a case study in the costs of hypocrisy." The "Pound Cake" speech, which Cosby presented at a 2004 NAACP ceremony, railed on the failures of the black community. "Looking at the incarcerated, these are not political criminals," he said. "These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake! Then we all run out and are outraged: 'The cops shouldn't have shot him.' What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?" This speech, combined with other public tirades, may have been, as Moyer puts it, what choked him.

A US district court judge was forced to consider an AP request to unseal a deposition from a settled 2005 molestation case, the Post notes. Simply being a celebrity wouldn't have warranted the release, per Judge Eduardo Robreno, because stars have a right to privacy, and in most cases the release of such info wouldn't serve the greater good. But Cosby wasn't most cases, Robreno decided, because "the defendant has donned the mantle of public moralist and mounted the proverbial electronic or print soap box to volunteer his views on, among other things, childrearing, family life, education, and crime," he wrote. He included a footnote that said "Item No. 1: 'See, e.g., Pound Cake Speech.'" "The address the comedian used to shame others was now being used to shame him," Moyer writes. (Here's how Judd Apatow and Jill Scott reacted to the development.)

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