Bill Cosby’s Kennedy Center Honors and Mark Twain Prize rescinded

Bill Cosby, formerly the recipient of the 2009 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and the 1998 Kennedy Center Honors, has been stripped of both awards. 

“Today the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts voted to rescind two artistic achievement awards the institution had previously bestowed upon Bill Cosby: the Kennedy Center Honors (1998) and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor (2009),” a center spokesperson said in a statement Monday. “As a result of Mr. Cosby’s recent criminal conviction, the Board concluded that his actions have overshadowed the very career accomplishments these distinctions from the Kennedy Center intend to recognize.”

This follows last week’s expulsion of Cosby from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Yale University and Temple University also rescinded the disgraced comedian’s honorary degrees.

On April 26, a jury convicted Cosby on three counts of aggravated assault for drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand in January 2004. Constand was one of more than 60 women who accused the comedian and television star of sexual misconduct. The guilty verdict represented the first legal consequence of the #MeToo movement. Each of the three counts of assault carries a maximum of 10 years in prison. Sentencing for Cosby, 80, is expected later this year.

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