Netflix postpones Bill Cosby plans
Netflix has “postponed” the launch of a Bill Cosby stand-up special.
The streaming service has backed away from its plans to debut Bill Cosby 77 on the day after Thanksgiving. The title refers to the legendary actor-comedian’s age.
The announcement comes on the heels of yet another rape allegation against Cosby, this time from former supermodel Janice Dickinson.
Cosby’s publicist reportedly told CNN the actor was in agreement with Netflix’s decision to postpone the special.
Several women have accused Cosby of sex crimes during the 1970s and ’80s. Cosby has not been charged or convicted with a crime related to the allegations. He has also declined to answer questions about the alleged incidents.
Cosby still has another pending entertainment project in the works: A sitcom at NBC, which has been in development since January. NBC has recently said the project remains in active development, but pressure has been mounting against the broadcaster to cancel its plans. Variety took a poll and found 72 percent surveyed said NBC should cut ties with Cosby over the allegations.
It was NBC’s sitcom announcement that arguably first put Cosby’s name back in the headlines and prompted some media outlets to report the star’s past, where women have accused Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing them. When asked about the issue at NBC’s press tour in July, entertainment president Jennifer Salke stood by the project, telling reporters, “We’re very committed, and that’s an important show for us.”
The allegations significantly spiked in media attention last month after a video of stand-up comic Hannibal Buress calling Cosby a rapist during a comedy show went viral. A few weeks later, a meme-generating social stunt on Cosby’s website backfired when users took the opportunity to mock the comic over the allegations. Then late last week, Cosby canceled a planned appearance on David Letterman’s talk show.
On Sunday, after Cosby refused to answer questions about the allegations during an NPR interview, his attorney John P. Schmitt released this statement: “Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives.”
Yet on the heels of the statement, another woman surfaced with a new allegation of sex abuse by Cosby when she was 19 years old.
Then earlier Wednesday, Entertainment Tonight broke the story of former America’s Next Top Model judge Dickinson also accusing Cosby of rape when he was on The Cosby Show. Dickinson claims the pair had been discussing a potential role for her on his series when he asked her to travel to Lake Tahoe, where he was performing, to offer her the job and to help with her singing career. She says they met for dinner there, and that Cosby gave her a glass of red wine and a pill, which she requested to alleviate stomach pains. “The next morning I woke up, and I wasn’t wearing my pajamas, and I remember before I passed out that I had been sexually assaulted by this man,” she told ET. “Before I woke up in the morning, the last thing I remember was Bill Cosby in a patchwork robe, dropping his robe and getting on top of me. And I remember a lot of pain.”
UPDATE: NBC dumps Cosby sitcom