Kanye West is being hammered on Twitter after openly supporting disgraced comedian Bill Cosby on Tuesday evening.
Around 6 p.m., he tweeted “BILL COSBY INNOCENT !!!!!!!!!!”. Within an hour, he had gotten 18,000 retweets and almost 20,000 likes — but many of the replies were far from flattering.
“1. don’t tweet,” was the first comment, by Erik Malonowski — a freelance journalist.
Hundreds of others added their opinions about supporting Cosby, who currently faces a charge of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand, a Toronto-born massage therapist.
Constand alleges that Cosby drugged her in his Philadelphia-area home back in 2004 and then raped her. Cosby testified under oath at the time that they’d had sex, but he claimed that it was purely consensual. However, he did admit that he’d given quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with.
Sexual assault allegations have endured for part of his acting career —however, none of them have been proven in criminal court. He’s faced several sexual assault lawsuits from women in Los Angeles, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania over the years, but only one case, launched in 2008 by a former Playboy Mansion model, is being investigated by police. The others were filed after criminal charges could be laid.
But West seemed unfazed. He’s posted a shot of the studio where he’s recording his next soon-to-be-titled album immediately above, and hasn’t responded to any of the criticism.
West is not new to controversy: he has upstaged several artists at international awards ceremonies — most recently Taylor Swift — and has called out U.S. President Barack Obama on live TV for his work on race relations.
Both resulted in intense public backlash, but neither has managed to stall his career.
Cosby’s trial is ongoing.
– With files from the Associated Press