Does “Forget those Women” Phylicia Rashad’s Facial Expressions & Body Language Really Support Bill Cosby?

When the words say one thing, and the body says something else, what do YOU believe?  The words or the body?  

Accurate Body Language knows, “From Head-to-Toes, the BODY Always Shows…the TRUTH!!”

Accurate Body Language provides an in-depth analysis of Phylicia Rashad’s body language and statement analysis during her ABC News Exclusive interview that aired on Wednesday, January 7, 2015.

ABC News stiff body language

ABC News Linsey Davis interviewed Rashad about her infamous quote, “Forget those women” from ShowBiz 411 writer Roger Friedman. 

Rashad’s admiration of Cosby appears mixed or incongruent.  Her verbal words sound like she’s complimenting Bill Cosby.  However, her facial expressions reveal more:

He's a GENIUS Tight Upper Lip 26 Sec

  • #1:  “He’s a GENIUS!” (at approx 26 secs)
  • This is Rashad’s first, highest priority, and top-of-mind compliment.
  • The use of a verbal contraction, as well as the flow and pace of delivering this sentence are all smooth and definite.
  • However, by using the pronoun ‘He’ in all of her compliments, Rashad does not say Bill Cosby’s name directly.
  • If Rashad had said, “Bill’s a GENIUS!!” then the statement would have offered a stronger direct compliment than the use of the more non-direct pronoun in “He’s a genius!”
  • Rashad looks directly at interviewer Davis and she has ease and smoothness in the top and middle areas of her face: around her eyes, eyebrows, and cheeks.
  • However, her eyes neither open wide with lifted eyebrows, nor light up and twinkle with deep crows feet, to really emphasis a high level of admiration and delight for Bill Cosby.
  • In addition, Rashad has horizontal tightness and little movement in her upper lip as she forms the letter ‘G’ to begin, and then her lips stay rigid throughout completing, the word ‘genius.’
  • It is as if she is trying to control what she says..trying to be very careful not to reveal or not to say too much.
  • She does not bring herself to a genuine smile; as her tight, upper lips and small mouth show lack of ease and visible guardedness.

Beginning to say He is Generous

Rashad’s lips are tight as she begins the G in her second verbal compliment,

  • #2:  “He…is…GENEROUS…” (at approx 28 secs)

He's Generous furrow lines tight lips28 secs

  • Compared to the faster pace of the first sentence, “He’s a Genius,” Rashad slows down the verbal pace of the second sentence, “He…is…generous….” and she does not use a contraction for ‘He…is…’  She may have needed more time to think about what to say for the second sentence.
  • People who need more time to think about their sentence(s), tend to elongate sentences and tend not to use contractions.
  • When speaking, lack of contractions can be a ‘hot-spot’ in detecting deceptions because liars often need more time to formulate their thoughts, especially if what they say are not based on truth.
  • In the above photo, as Rashad completes the word, ‘generous,’ noticeable vertical stress lines appear between her inner eyebrows creating intensity in her eyes.
  • Although she says, “He…is…GENEROUS…,” Rashad is not totally convincing because her facial expressions remain tight and forced around her lips with small opening of her mouth and vertical furrows in-between her eyebrows.

 

He's kind Wide lift in face 29 secs

Rashad is the most believable when she states:

  • #3: “He’s KIND!” (at approx 29 & 30 secs)
  • Once again, Rashad uses the conversational contraction of ‘he’s’ instead of the longer version of ‘he…is…’ Use of contractions is more natural language and believable.
  • Although this is Rashad’s third ranking compliment, it is the most truthful, sincere, and genuine of her compliments for Cosby based on her nonverbal body language.
  • Notice, her entire face (e.g., eyebrows, eyelids, eyes, cheeks, and widest open mouth) lights up and defies gravity with a wide, expansive upward lift as she says, “He’s KIND!” 
  • With her face muscles lifted, the vertical stress lines between her eyebrows disappear and she looks more pleasant.
  • Her face did not express this upward lift for the first sentence, “He’s a genius!” and the second sentence, “He…is…generous…”
  • Although her mouth opens more, she still does not bring herself to a full smile with exposed upper teeth.  Her mouth has not yet loosened up to complete surrender.

He's Inclusive head tilt 31 secs

Rashad continues softened look with tilted head:

  • #4: “He’s inclusive.” (at approx 31 secs)
  • Inclusive is her fourth ranking, lowest priority, and final compliment.
  • She may be feeling more comfortable at this point in the interview as evidenced by soft eye-gaze, relaxed facial muscles, tilted head, and rounded shoulders.
  • In all four of these sentences, she did not say, “Bill Cosby is an honorable man!  Bill Cosby didn’t drug or sexually assault anybody.”  Bill Cosby, and nobody from Team Cosby, has yet to state this strong and direct denial.

However, as the interview progressed into the sexual allegations against Cosby, Rashad’s facial expression dramatically changes to a more upset, defiant, or angry look:

What has happened is flared nostrils tight lips 43 secs

Rashad begins to give her theory and explanation:

  • “What has happened is….(at approx 43 secs)
  • Her head is now straight up and erect…with tightly closed pressed lips, a forced smile, flared nostrils, and a stiff neck.
  • During a long pause, Rashad pulsed her closed lips even tighter and narrowed her eyes toward the interviewer; these gestures indicate continued anger and discomfort.
  • Although she may be trying her best to suppress anger, her nostrils have flared wider and appear redder at the base of her nostrils compared to earlier photos in the interview. When people are upset, nostrils flare out in order to take in more oxygen for a battle.

Flared nostrils tight lips 44 secs

Then, after 2 seconds of silence, Rashad’s anger continues with:

  • Flared reddened nostrils, tight upper lip, and barely opened mouth at approx 44 seconds.

Media downward frown 45 secs

  • “…the declaration in the media…” (at approx 45 secs)
  • From the flared nostrils downward to the lower portion of her face, notice the tension in her tightly stretched mouth and neck muscles.
  • Rashad shows distaste and distress in the outer corners of her mouth as she starts a downward frown when saying the word ‘media.’

Without proof tilted head closed lips 50 secs

Head tilt is back when she states:

  • “…of guilt…without proof!” (at approx 50 secs).  
  • In the next microsecond, Rashad’s chin retreats and tucks inward with increased blink rate.
  • The tilted head, chin inward tuck, tightly closed lips, and increased blink rate indicate discomfort in, disdain for, or disbelief that the women would dare accuse…or the media would even dare to doubt…that Bill Cosby (the actor) is not the fictional Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable (the wholesome TV character) whom he portrayed on The Cosby Show.

ABC NEWS Interviewer Ms. Davis stated: 

Lindsay Davis ABC News

  • “You were quoted online as saying, ‘Forget those women…” (at approx 58 secs)
  • Davis shook her head and waved her left in the air in a dismissive gesture when quoting Rashad’s, ‘Forget those women.’

Misquote, that is not what I said lifted chin 1:12 secs

Rashad immediately corrects Davis with:

  • “And that was a ‘misquote.’ And that is not what I said.” (at approx 1:12 secs)
  • As Rashad is correcting Ms. Davis and defending herself in the photo above, she lifts her chin and nose, tenses her neck muscles, and stares downward at the interviewer. These gestures suggest indignation and demonstrate Rashad’s perceived personal power, arrogance, and superiority over the interviewer.
  • On 01/07/15, author Roger Friedman of Showbiz 411 responded,
    “Let me clear something up. I did not misquote Phylicia Rashad. But she didn’t mean for it to be taken the way it was, and I should have punctuated better. There was NEVER the meaning in ‘Forget those women’ that she was saying to actually forget or dismiss them. She meant, ‘those women aside’– as in, she’s not talking about that, she’s talking about Cosby’s legacy being destroyed. It was conversational. Somehow this got twisted. I am really sorry if the way I presented it made it seem like either one of us was forgetting anyone….What Phylicia was doing was defending her friend and his legacy. That’s what she said, that’s what I wrote, I’m sorry if it caused her grief. And no one asked me to write this. I’m just saying it because I like and respect her. PS I am also taking out the “Forget those women” because it was misunderstood, and not for any other reason.
  • Why did Friedman delete the “Forget those women” quote from his original report when he said, “That’s what she said, that’s what I wrote.”  Friedman did not misquote Rashad, as she claims.
  • People did not misunderstand her quote…because “Forget those women” was EXACTLY what Rashad felt and EXACTLY what she meant to say.  Friedman’s liking of, or respect for, Rashad should not warrant the removal of “Forget those women” when he said he did not misquote her.  What punctuation did he need to use (as he claims was missing) that would have changed the meaning of what she said? Friedman altered the integrity of his original report by deleting “Forget those women,” a direct quote from Rashad.
  • In the original Showbiz411 interview between Rashad and Friedman, Rashad was quoted as saying,  “Forget these women. What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated. I don’t know why or who’s doing it, but it’s the legacy. And it’s a legacy that is so important to the culture.”
  • On the one hand, Rashad demands proof, “…the declaration in the media…of guilt…without proof.” And yet, hypocritically on the other hand, she offers no proof or plausible person responsible for her own unsubstantiated theory of “…obliteration of LEGACY!”
  • Rashad attempts to make sense of Cosby’s self-imposed debacle to someone external to Cosby…that this must be something orchestrated against LEGACY and its importance to CULTURE.
  • Protect the LEGACY at all cost.  That’s what is important to Rashad.  LEGACY is more important than the countless number of women who accuse Cosby of drugging and/or sexually assaulting them.
  • To Phylicia Rashad, LEGACY is even more important than Bill Cosby himself. Notice she does not say the  “…obliteration of Bill Cosby’s (or his) legacy…” Without the words Bill Cosby or the possessive pronoun ‘his’ right before the word legacy, she tells us that the scope of legacy is broader to include herself because for 8 years she played the TV wife Clair Huxtable.
  • In addition, by highlighting the broader scope of the “…obliteration of legacy…,” Rashad exempts Bill Cosby from any personal accountability for his role, his behavior, or his actions towards these women.
  • What if Rashad’s daughter, niece, or a young woman had approached her directly with similar drugging and sexual assault claims against Bill Cosby, would Rashad’s response still remain the same…to protect cultural legacy, rather than listen to and try to understand what the alleged sexual assault victim is claiming?

Obliveration of Legacy 1:12 secs

  • “What I said is…this is not about the women. This is something else. This is about the obliteration of LEGACY.”
  • Rashad reinforced the word ‘LEGACY’ with special verbal emphasis and continued her non-verbal power pose of lifted chin, lifted nose, and downward eye-gaze toward the interviewer.
  • Even in Rashad’s attempt to clarify what she claims is a ‘misquote,’ she actually reinforces her original dismissive position of “Forget these women” with her corrective statement of, “…this is not about the women…”
  • In both of these sentences, Rashid has totally discounted and dismissed the existence of the women.
  • So, by erasing any pain and suffering of any sexual assault accuser against Bill Cosby, Rashad can redirect her blind focus on a wider unsubstantiated paranoid conspiracy plot that it is about the “…obliteration of legacy…”
  • Throughout the entire interview, Rashad’s lips remained tight and guarded, as if she were angry, upset, or did not want to reveal too much information.

 

Dismissive 1 15 secs

  • “Because some people might think that…it was dismissive,”  Davis continued.

 

I am a WOMAN 1 17 secs

  • Rashad emphatically replied, “I am a woman. I am a woman. I would never say such a thing.”
  • Her statement ‘…I would never say such a thing’ is FUTURE-tense; Rashad should have said, “I did not say such a thing” to refer to her PAST-tense statement to ShowBiz 411 Roger Friedman.
  • Roger Friedman held firm that he did not misquote Rashad.
  • People say what they mean.  In her mind and in her hardened heart, Rashad has forgotten these women. She advised ShowBiz 411 Roger Friedman, and all of us, to also ‘Forget those women’ in order to remember the LEGACY.

Tongue thrust. What do you say to these women who have painstakingly 04 sec

When pressed by the interviewer’s questions: “What do you say to these women who have painstakingly told these stories of abuse…they were raped, they were sexually assaulted…that they were drugged…?”

  • Rashad flashed a tongue thrust which is an overt negative signal during this line of questioning.  Her eyes and eyebrows show discomfort. 
  • Sticking out one’s tongue is a very primitive and subconscious body language indicator of distaste, distress, and disgust regarding the topic, “What do you say to these women who have painstakingly told these stories of abuse…they were raped, they were sexually assaulted…that they were drugged…?”
  • Previously, when ShowBiz 411 reporter Roger Friedman brought up the allegations against Cosby from supermodels, Rashad dismissive response was, “Oh, please…”  Rashad does not care about any sexual allegation claims from any or all women involved.
  • Although Rashad stated, “I am a woman,” she does not demonstrate one ounce of compassion, concern, or care for the women who report that Bill Cosby drugged and or sexually assaulted them.
  • She does not want to hear anything that may tarnish LEGACY.  She is not interested in understanding and getting to the TRUTH.
  • Rashad redirects her primary focus back to The Bill Cosby Show, “This show represented America to the outside world. This was the American family. And now you’re seeing it being destroyed. Why?” 

SUMMARY

  • Rashad’s words and body language revealed that she is neither a champion for, nor a protector of, women who describe that they have been drugged, sexually assaulted, or raped by Bill Cosby. For Rashad, it is all about her perceived LEGACY on The Bill Cosby TV show… with zero interest about the painful experiences that Cosby may have inflicted on REAL women. 
  • Phylicia Rashad incorrectly said she was misquoted when Roger Friedman wrote her words, “forget those women.”  Friedman confirmed on ShowBiz 411, “That’s what she said, that’s what I wrote.” 
  • Approximately 30 women have come forward to accuse Bill Cosby.  In rape and trauma cases, there are untold more who do not come forward and remain alone in the pain. 
  • In order to make sense of the horrific accusations, Rashad believes in an unnamed shadow…a villain…a boogie-man who is “out to get” iconic and once revered Bill Cosby.  
  • She exempts Cosby from any personal responsibility and offers absolutely no proof in her outrageous theory. The women who have come forward against Cosby risk their reputations to tell their versions of the truth with personal details and emotions. They have done more to speak their voice than Bill Cosby has in his own defense regarding the accusations. 
  • However, on stage at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, Bill Cosby revealed that his alleged behavior is a LAUGHING matter by joking, fake crying with head in his hands, and saying the following: “Parents…parents are taking their children home and saying to me, ‘Bill Cosby, you are an EVIL Man!!!’ (audience laughter). ‘We will NEVER eat your Jell-O Pudding again!’ (again audience laughter). 
  • The audience gave him a standing ovation. Later, National President Glenda Newell-Harris did not find Cosby’s humor funny and distanced The Links, Inc. from him with this official statement,“The scheduling of Mr. Cosby to perform at the Nassau (Bahamas) Chapter’s fundraiser was done in good faith and in advance of the allegations coming to light. As a women’s organization committed to uplifting and empowering women, The Links, Incorporated does not tolerate crimes against women.”
  • Cosby’s creepy coincidence…fictional Dr. Cliff Huxtable’s occupation…OB/GYN
  • By blaming an unknown boogie-man, Rashad takes the easier route…rather than confronting BILL COSBY directly about his involvement in any, or all, of the sexual claims against him.

 “From Head-to-Toes, the BODY Always Shows…the TRUTH!!”

“Get-to-the TRUTH!” Janette Ghedotte is an EXPERT in Human Behavior & Communication:

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