Should Ben's Chili Bowl remove Bill Cosby mural after latest revelation?

What started at an improv comedy club has quickly spiraled out of control. Comedian Hannibal Buress called Bill Cosby out during a standup routine that went viral and now it’s not laughing matter for Cosby.

New unsealed court documents reveal Cosby’s reported admission on using drugs to lure women before sex.

“We are saddened by the recent [Cosby] news,” said an owner at Ben’s Chili Bowl where Cosby’s portrait is prominently placed next to President Barack Obama.

The U Street hot spot fell short of saying it will remove the mural.

“I think it should stay,” said Debbie Spear. “I think that he's accomplished a lot for the African American community and he's so beloved and he's done a lot in his life that's very valuable. Unfortunately, he's made some poor choices as well. But who hasn't?”

Spear is visiting from Columbus, Georgia.

“I admire him for at least being honest, after the fact,” said Spear. “We've all done things we're not very proud of and I think for him to own it and to tell the truth at this point is very courageous.”

Spear is standing by Cosby and she’s not alone.

For now, Cosby’s picture, favorite table and mural remain intact at Ben’s Chili Bowl despite calls for their removal.

“They should take it down, not have him beside the president, not right now,” said Stacia Howard.

“Yeah, I feel the same too, take it down,” said Ronda Harold-Boutte.

“I'm a Bill Cosby fan, so everything that's going on, I kind of have mixed emotions about it,” said Patrick Harold. “I would say take it down.”

Ben’s Chili Bowl is opening a new location at 1001 H Street in Northeast D.C. on Wednesday. The new location will reportedly not feature Cosby in its décor.

Amid all the debate, the Smithsonian Institution came out Tuesday saying its National Museum of African Art will keep a collection from Cosby and his wife, Camille.

A spokesperson says the exhibit is about the artworks and the artists who created them and not the owner of the collection.

There was no comment from Howard University where Cosby gave a controversial graduation speech in 2004. He chastised African American parents and accused them of avoiding parental responsibility.

Statement from the National Museum of African Art:

“The National Museum of African Art is aware of the recent revelations about Bill Cosby’s behavior. The museum in no way condones this behavior. Our current “Conversations” exhibition, which includes works of African art from our permanent collection and African American art from the collection of Camille and Bill Cosby, is fundamentally about the artworks and the artists who created them, not the owners of the collection.

“The artworks from the collection of the Cosbys are being seen by the public for the first time. The exhibition brings the public’s attention to African American artists whose works have long been omitted from the study and appreciation of American art.”

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