Clinton Yates of the Washington Post is calling for the owners of Ben's Chili Bowl to distance themselves from Bill Cosby. Yates wrote in his Sunday column: "...it’s time for that image of Cosby to come down." He continued:
As more and more women come forward with rape accusations against the comedian, the Ali family, the owners of Ben’s, should rethink their public association with him. His likeness is all over the restaurant, almost as prominently as his face is on the mural, which is the last of four iconic images — the others are Chuck Brown, Donnie Simpson and President Obama — that I once called the "Mount Rushmore of Half Smokes."
Neither the Ali family or muralist Aniekan Udofia released a comment to the Post. Last month, Vida Ali told the Washington City Paper that "Cosby is part of our family," and Yates argued that it's time to show some tough love. He suggested that Ben's Chili Bowl is enough of an icon and tourist destination in the city that the restaurant doesn't need "Cosby’s co-sign on their brand" to stay relevant. "But the image of Bill Cosby’s smiling mug on the side of the building that’s hugely visible walking east on U Street NW is unnerving," he wrote.
Bill Cosby has been accused of sexual assault by at least 16 women and has not responded to the allegations with any statement.