MovieChat Forums > The Cosby Show Discussion > Did not accurately reflect African Ameri...

Did not accurately reflect African American life in the Reagan era


Come on. This was like a trip to dream land in an absolutely hellish era for black people in the U.S. Almost wonder if it was created to deflect attention away from what was going on at that time to make people at home think ''Hey look, they're doing just fine''.

reply

Not American but I think in general American shows of the time and now for that matter show people living better than they actually would be. The magic of television?

reply

Television always provides an escape but this was skewing the line and nearly a slap in the face. Do some reading on what exactly was happening to black people during this time - it was literally a nightmare for them. The crack epidemic, AIDS, huge job losses resulting in homelessness and a completely cut social safety net. There were areas in NYC (and elsewhere) at this time where black people were living in something resembling third world slums.. nothing but rubble and unheated buildings. Crime wasn't just ''bad'' - adult black men were being kidnapped by gang members and held for ransom especially store owners.

reply

Why you hold anyone to ransom if the people who care about them are broke?

Anyway, another huge fantasy of the era was Diff'rent Strokes and Silver Spoons. The super wealthy father.

reply

It also didn't accurately reflect the kind of person Bill Cosby is, but what can you do?

reply

It was meant to be a "role model" show.

Audience members who were black were watching intelligent parents who had an intact family have mostly good times together.

It's the same basic thing as a heroic cop show, superheroes, and so forth. You're supposed to be inspired by the fiction.

reply

Was it intended to be realistic? I think, like a lot of TV of that era, it was intended as an escape more than anything.

I'm curious why you think it couldn't of represented the black middle class, though? I appreciate it obviously didn't represent all black lives in the US.

reply

The OP sounds upset because the show didn't reflect a stereotype.

reply

So you're saying that there were no successful black doctors or lawyers in the 1980s?

reply