Billy Cosby has left a complicated stamp on culture.
This week, Showtime debuted the official trailer for the new four-part docuseries “We Need to Talk About Cosby”, from comedian and director W. Kamau Bell, diving into Cosby’s difficult legacy.
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“Cosby, the renowned comedian, actor, philanthropist and African American icon, who for decades was revered as ‘America’s Dad, has gained infamy as a criminal defendant in a sexual-assault prosecution,” reads the official description. “The series explores the complex story of Cosby’s life and work, weighing his actions against his indisputable global influence through interviews with comedians, cultural commentators, journalists and women who share their most personal, harrowing encounters with Cosby. Through archival footage, Cosby reveals who he may have been all along – the antithesis of the principled, public figure who became a hero, not only to African American people but to all people.”
Best known as the creator and star of “The Cosby Show”, Cosby has been accused by approximately 60 women of sexual assault, spanning several decades.
“Do not edit this: A lot of people knew. Because you can’t do what he did unless you have other people supporting what you’re doing,” says Cosby accuser Eden Tirl at the top of the new trailer.
In 2018, Cosby was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against one woman, but the conviction was overturned earlier this year due to violations of due process.
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Last month, a teaser for the docuseries was released, announcing the project.
“As a child of Bill Cosby, I was a huge fan of all his shows and wanted to be a comedian because of him,” Bell says. “I never thought I’d ever wrestle with who we all thought Cosby was and who we now understand him to be. I’m not sure he would want me to do this work, but Cliff Huxtable definitely would.”
“Kamau has bravely ventured into a very complicated and nuanced area of the Bill Cosby story, which has yet to be explored in this depth. It’s an important and under-reported perspective on the legacy of one of history’s most iconic African American entertainers,” added Showtime exec Vinnie Malhotra.
“We Need to Talk About Cosby” will screen next month at the Sundance Film Festival before premiering on television on Jan. 30, 2022.