Bill Cosby allegations put Netflix and NBC in tough spot

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Java Talk: Bill Cosby, Mark Teixeira And More

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Netflix and NBC have tough decisions to make about Bill Cosby.

Allegations against the comedy icon — that he sexually assaulted a number of women earlier in his career — have resurfaced with a vengeance in recent days.

Cosby has refused to comment on the allegations, which his attorney called “decade-old” and “discredited” in a statement on Sunday.

But the charges seem likely to follow Cosby wherever he goes, at least for the time being.

And the next place Cosby is going, virtually, is Netflix. The streaming service is scheduled to debut a Cosby stand-up comedy special on the day after Thanksgiving.

“I thank @Netflix for this opportunity to show my talent all around the internet,” Cosby wrote in an August tweet when the special was announced.

It’s titled “Bill Cosby 77” because it was recorded on his 77th birthday in July.

Netflix has declined to comment in the wake of Barbara Bowman’s Washington Post op-ed and CNN interviews accusing Cosby of drugging and raping her in the 1980s.

NBC has also declined to comment. This year the network has been developing a new sitcom with Cosby, but it is not yet in the pilot stage.

In an interview on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” televised on Sunday, Bowman said she believes it is “a little bit on the irresponsible side” for NBC to be developing a new show with Cosby.

Separately on Sunday, another woman, Joan Tarshis, wrote an essay alleging that Cosby raped her in 1969.

Bowman and Tarshis first shared their accounts of Cosby’s sexual abuse years ago.

“It seemed the scandal had been put to rest,” a story in Monday’s Washington Post stated. “But as the past few weeks have shown, it’s become more difficult to bury a story for good — especially a story like this one, which has many of the components for going viral: a famous name, a shareable video, lurid personal accounts. ”

Some of Cosby’s fans resent the sudden media attention — but that’s not going to make it go away.

Over the weekend the Hollywood news site Deadline.com called it a “P.R. nightmare.”

Cosby declined to answer questions about the accusations when he was interviewed by NPR. The interview was broadcast on Saturday; Cosby’s attorney John P. Schmitt said Sunday that “Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment.”

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2 comments

  • Peter Marzullo (@plmarz)

    This,these alleged rape and/or sexual harassment incidents happened a minimum of 25 to 45 years ago. I’m no legal expert but I am pretty sure there is a statute of limitations on charges such as these even IF they were true. Also,why bring it up now? Why not when the alleged incidents happened? Could it be because of societal shifts in our attitudes about such things whether good or bad have changed over the years and these women sense (probably with the prompting of some lawyers) that there may be a large sum of cash in it for them all? I think the press or MSM (main stream media) including the internet should realize or see this for what it most likely is and not even dignify the story in anyway by airing or attempting to ask Mr.Cosby questions about something that IF it did happen was a minimum of 2.5 to 4.5 decades ago. It’s obvious to almost anyone with a functional sense of reason that Mr.Cosby is not the same man that he was or may have been back then now. In my opinion ( and we all know what that means) these women are probably broke and are trying to get rich from the wealth that a successful comedian has worked hard for all his life. Maybe they are just hoping he will just pay them to go away.