If Bill Cosby thought he controversy that has swirled around him in recent weeks would die down, he got notice yesterday that he was sorely mistaken.
First, an accuser many find credible, former "America's Next Top Model Judge" Janice Dickinson publicly claimed to be one of the women Cosby allegedly raped.
In wake of the increased scrutiny and the damage it has done to Cosby's image, Netflix scrapped a comedy special it had planned to air the day after Thanksgiving starring the comedian, according to Deadline:
“At this time we are postponing the launch of the new stand-up comedy special Bill Cosby 77,” Netflix said in a statement Tuesday night.
The streaming service had said on Saturday that it was planning to release the special as scheduled despite the controversy, which then was in its early stages. The scandal since has grown, with more testimonies by alleged victims and calls for Netflix and NBC, which has a comedy series with Cosby in the works, to distance themselves from the comedian. Netflix’s announcement comes on the day two more women, including former model Janice Dickinson, publicly accused the comedian of sexually assaulting them, bringing the number of women who have made their allegations public to half-dozen.
Now, the question is whether NBC, which thought it had a slam-dunk hit developing a new family sitcom starring Cosby will risk alienating tons of viewers by going ahead with the program or risk losing what many at the network had felt was a surefire way to duplicate the success of "The Cosby Show", a monster hit in the 1980s that rejuvenated the network..
According to Deadline:
Netflix’s move puts more pressure on NBC, which continues to keep its family sitcom starring Cosby in development. It has been announced as being on track for a series launch in summer or fall 2015.
On the show, executive produced by The Cosby Show‘s Tom Werner, Cosby is to star as Jonathan Franklin, a patriarch of a multigenerational family who shares his many years of wit, wisdom and experience to help his daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren navigate their complicated modern lives. In light of the slew of disturbing accusations, it would be hard for viewers to accept Cosby as a lovable family man and for NBC to sell the project to advertisers.
The network has a lot of money at stake. According to the deal, Cosby is owed a big penalty if the comedy doesn’t go to pilot. Because these are old allegations with little or no legal repercussions, the network might have to write Cosby a fat check if it kills the project. But the damage to NBC’s image — especially with parent Comcast priding itself as a family business holding strong moral values — could be pricier if it opts to continue.
This whole thing is blowing my mind. What do all of you think?