Former Cosby Kid Lisa Bonet was mysteriously missing during a tribute to her former TV sibilings at Sunday night’s TV Land Awards in New York City.
In 1984, NBC Thursday Night comedy The Cosby Show revolutionized the way Americans viewed Black families as The Huxtables Clan became the blueprint of the ultimate nuclear family. This year’s TV Land Awards, airing April 17, featured reunions of the cast of classic TV sitcoms, including Family Ties, The Facts of Life, Welcome Back, Kotter, and Cosby. And, as usual, Lisa was no where to be found. The official word out of the Bonet camp has “scheduling conflicts” as the reason for the snub, but the Bohemian star’s longstanding feud with series star and creator Bill Cosby has become just as legendary as the show on which it began.
Bonet — best remembered as college dropout/drifter Denise Huxtable on the show — is still holding firm to her Cosby Show boycott two decades after being fired from the series, as The Los Angeles Times pointed out in an article on Monday.
“…Bonet has had a fractious relationship with the series, declining to participate in previous retrospectives. In an interview in The Washington Post in 2002 about her decision to skip an NBC retrospective, ‘The Cosby Show: A Look Back,’ Bonet said, ‘The whole experience and energy behind it felt disingenuous and motivated by corporate profit. I felt devalued and disrespected.’”
Lisa also threw a stank eye at The Peacock’s 20th Anniversary Cosby in 2004 — nor was she around when the cast got together again on The TODAY Show last year.
“Lisa has always danced to the beat of her own drummer, which has worked for and against her,” says Malcolm-Jamal Warner, now an actor-musician, who got his start in showbusiness as Theo, the only son of Dr. Cliff and Claire Huxtable on the show. He recalled Bonet showing up for a mini-reunion with him, Tempestt Bledsoe (Vanessa) and Keshia Knight Pulliam (Rudy) for a Nickelodeon Favorite Huxtable Contest a few years back.
“It was very surprising,” he added.