Bill Cosby has criticized Hollywood bosses for failing to recognize the extent of Lena Horne's acting talents when she was alive, insisting her groundbreaking career suffered as a result of racism.
Tributes poured in for Horne after the Grammy winner died at a New York hospital on May 9, aged 92 - stars and politicians alike noted her grand achievements as an entertainer and civil rights activist. Since her passing, Horne has also been hailed by U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle as one of the "most cherished" entertainers in American history.
But comedian Cosby feels the tributes have come too late - because the same movie chiefs who snubbed the "Stormy Weather" singer/actress during her youth are now praising her as an icon. He explains, "Ms. Horne, as gorgeous as she is, should things have been right she should have been in Cleopatra, playing the part before Elizabeth Taylor... But the way things are with the racism, she would sing, and they would take her out. Any movie she was in was a variety show, so she didn't really get to talk or anything..."
"They offered her many things but... it was just a terrible time. Her passing is just duplicitous, because I don't know how you pay that back. They keep saying how she's a great civil rights activist but I don't know how you give somebody this gorgeous, this wonderful, this talented (those roles)... Racism... is a waste of time."