July 26's visually arresting cover photo of New York Magazine shows 35 of the 46 women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. The story also includes extensive interviews with each of the women who agreed to speak publicly. You can view the stunning cover photo here.
Even as the evidence continues to suggest Cosby is a serial rapist, and even though Cosby admitted to giving drugs to sexual partners, he is still pushing a PR campaign to cover over the accusations.
The latest article reveals the wide diversity of women who have leveled accusations at Cosby. According to the article in New York Magazine:
There are now 46 women who have come forward publicly to accuse Cosby of rape or sexual assault; the 35 women here are the accusers who were willing to be photographed and interviewed by New York. The group, at present, ranges in age from early 20s to 80 and includes supermodels Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson alongside waitresses and Playboy bunnies and journalists and a host of women who formerly worked in show business. Many of the women say they know of others still out there who’ve chosen to remain silent.
Each woman on the cover is pictured in the same chair, facing the camera. But one chair remains empty. That chair signifies the 11 women who were not interviewed, as well as the countless other women whose claims of sexual abuse go unheard.
"The empty chair" has since sparked a massive dialogue on Twitter, using the hashtag “#TheEmptyChair.” Twitter users have used the hashtag to post stories and statistics missing from personal and national conversations about sexual assault. Below is a sampling of the many messages [Trigger warning. If you experience triggers from any of these stories, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline here]:
society is very harsh on rape victims. Why were you there? Why did you drink? Why did you enter the car? #TheEmptyChair— chika unigwe (@chikaunigwe) July 27, 2015
Do not wait for a man to speak to believe women who are already talking. Nothing to add. #TheEmptyChair— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) July 27, 2015
Sexual assault is not a "women's issue," it's a societal issue. #TheEmptyChair— Dominic Mitchell (@dominiclm_) July 27, 2015