Rape allegations against comedian and mega-celebrity Bill Cosby have dominated headlines in the US this week.
An unsealed 2005 deposition revealed he obtained Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with.
This follows allegations by at least 25 women over the past several months who said the former star of “The Cosby Show” drugged them and then raped them.
Cosby has not been arrested or charged with any crime related to the allegations.
Now, a US sexual assault prevention organisation wants the White House to get involved in condemning him. Promoting Awareness/Victim Empowerment has started a petition on the White House website urging US President Barack Obama to revoke the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to Cosby in 2002 by then-President George W Bush.
The medal is the nation’s highest civilian honor. Some of its recipients include former US President Bill Clinton, media mogul Oprah Winfrey and music legend Bob Dylan.
In a statement, the group said, “Bill Cosby’s name does not belong among this distinguished list. Cosby admitted to procuring drugs to have sex with women without their consent. We cannot yet give his accusers their day in court, but we can fight back in the court of public opinion”.
Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary, when asked by reporters to clarify whether the medal can actually be revoked, said he did not know. A revocation would be unprecedented in the award’s 52-year history.
The latest petition follows an announcement this week by Walt Disney World in Florida that they’ll remove a Bill Cosby statue there. Cosby also has a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California.