Bill of Fail

A photograph of maintenance on Bill Cosby's Hollywood 'Walk of Fame' star led to rumors that the plaque was to be removed.

Claim: Photograph depicts the removal of Bill Cosby's Hollywood "Walk of Fame" Star.

False

Example: [Collected via e-mail, Twitter, and Internet, January 2016]

Will Bill Cosby's star on the Hollywood Walk of fame be removed?

December 31, 2015
Bill Cosby Hollywood star removed!
Bill Cosby has yet to be convicted and already his Hollywood Star is being removed. What gives them the right to remove a star when there have been multiple Hollywood stars who’ve been charged with horrible crimes and they didn’t removed theirs.

Origin:On 30 December 2015, Bill Cosby was formally charged with counts related to an alleged sexual assault in Pennsylvania.  Soon after, the above-reproduced photograph began circulating on social media networks, along with speculation that the image depicted a worker removing Bill Cosby's Hollywood "Walk of Fame" star.

Charges brought against Cosby came more than a year after allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against the comedian began attracting wide attention. In October 2014, stand-up comedian Hannibal Buress performed a bit during which he referenced multiple accusations against Cosby over the years. While the commentary wasn't new (Buress had made the joke several times before), an audience member uploaded footage of it to YouTube, which catalyzed new interest in the claims.

More than a year after Buress' stand-up performance went viral, Cosby was arraigned at a district court in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. The day after his court appearance, the "Walk of Fame" photograph began circulating on social media alongside claims that Cosby's star was either in the process of being removed, or was slated for removal.

The claims were false on several levels. For one, the image was inaccurately described. While it involved Cosby's scandals, it was taken in early December 2014 after the plaque was vandalized:

Bill Cosby's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was vandalized with the word "rapist," written several times in purple marker.

The star was defaced amid multiple allegations of sexual assault against Cosby.

On 5 December 2014, Variety reported:

In response to the vandalism, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce released the following statement: “The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an institution celebrating the positive contributions of the inductees. When people are unhappy with one of our honorees, we would hope that they would project their anger in more positive ways then to vandalize a California State landmark. The star is being cleaned up at this time.”

A July 2014 The Hollywood Reporter article titled "Bill Cosby, Donald Trump and 7 More Scandalous Stars Immortalized on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame" contains a statement from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce about the removal of controversial stars from the Walk:

Once a star has been added to the Walk, it is considered a part of the historic fabric of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Because of this, we have never removed a star from the Walk.

As such, the photograph did not depict the removal of Bill Cosby's Walk of Fame star.  Additionally, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce confirmed that no star has ever been removed under similar circumstances.

 

 

Last updated: 01 January 2016

Originally published: 01 January 2016

Kim LaCapria is a New York-based content manager and longtime snopes.com message board participant. Although she was investigated and found to be "probably false" by snopes.com in early 2002, Kim later began writing for the site due to an executive order unilaterally passed by President Obama during a secret, late-night session (without the approval of Congress). Click like and share if you think this is an egregious example of legislative overreach.


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