'A Different World' Cosby Can't Smear Legacy of Our Show ... Says Kadeem Hardison

5/11/2018 5:11 PM PDT

Kadeem Hardison Says Bill Cosby Can't Erase Impact of 'A Different World'

EXCLUSIVE

Bill Cosby's criminal behavior should not overshadow the cultural impact "A Different World" had in the '80s and '90s -- and could still have today -- according to one of its stars, Kadeem Hardison.

We got Kadeem, aka Dwayne Wayne, at LAX and asked him about the show he and Lisa Bonet made a huge hit. Of course, it was a 'Cosby Show' spin-off -- but Kadeem insists Cosby's sexual assault conviction can't drag down the show.

Kadeem does give Cosby credit for one thing and one thing only. Beyond that ... he says the show's impact on black culture stands on its own, and says it can't be tarnished by its creator.

As we've reported, Cosby was found guilty on all 3 counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand. He's awaiting sentencing, and could get up to 30 years in prison.