Ben’s Chilli Bowl in D.C. is a restaurant known for its famous cooking and brick mural that features famous black stars including Bill Cosby ― that was, until Wednesday.
The restaurant unveiled a brand new mural during a special ceremony Wednesday morning that showed 15 other famous black stars where Cosby used to be. The original mural, which debuted in 2012, also featured local musician Chuck Brown, local radio personality Donnie Simpson and then-President Barack Obama but the painting of Cosby drew heavy criticism, and had even been defaced after dozens of women came forward with allegations of sexual assault against the comedian. (Cosby was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault in a case involving Temple University employee Andrea Constand which ended in a mistrial last week.)
The mural, by artist Aniekan Udofia, now includes First Lady Michelle Obama, Muhammad Ali, abolitionist Harriet Tubman and singers like Chuck Brown, Gladys Knight, and Prince as well as contemporary artists like actress Taraji Henson, comedian Dave Chappelle and rapper Wale.
Chapelle attended the ceremony to celebrate the new artwork and to express how honored he felt to be included.
Those selected to be featured on the new mural were chosen through an online voting process that attracted more than 30,000 votes from across the world, according to Washington City Paper. It is expected to stay for at least the next five years.
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