Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Artemio Ramirez, Jr., Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jameson Hayes, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Roxanne Watson, Ph.D.


celebrity crisis communication, celebrity public relations, image repair


Recent allegations surrounding Bill Cosby presented an opportunity to combine, test, and extend situational crisis communication theory typology and image repair theory response strategies for celebrity use. Because Cosby did not respond to the numerous allegations against him, it presented an opportunity to experiment with new and existing typologies using a real case, as opposed to analyzing past response attempts or using a hypothetical case. This study used a 2 X 4 factorial design to test veracity of claims, a proposed concept, and response strategies via survey. Even though none of the hypotheses were supported, the present study opened up a number questions for future researchers to explore and further expand crisis communication theories and typologies.