UPDATED: Netflix Shelves Bill Cosby’s Comedy Special, NBC Bails on New Series

By November 19, 2014

If you’ve been on the internet at all the past few weeks, you’ve undoubtedly encountered a story about rape allegations against legendary comedian and sitcom star Bill Cosby that have resurfaced after lying dormant for decades. And they’re finally starting to effect the comedian’s late career.

Netflix announced late last night (via Vulture) that they have shelved the premiere of Bill Cosby 77, the new stand-up special filmed at the San Francisco Jazz Center on the comic’s 77th birthday, which was slated to premiere on the streaming service on November 28th. As of now there’s no indication as to whether or not Netflix will set a new date.

The rape allegations gained prominence again when comedian Hannibal Buress riffed on the comic’s shady history at a show in Philadelphia. Since then, there’s been a lot of buzz about the old accusations from several woman (you can check out a detailed timeline of the allegations over here), and just yesterday, a new accusation surfaced as well, marking the 15th woman to make a claim of sexual abuse against Cosby.

Bill Cosby

Hollywood has always been a dark place when it comes to sex crimes, mainly because celebrities have always seemed above the law in certain scenarios. Even normal citizens end up being scared of bringing accusations against big stars because they have the bankroll to shut down any legal cases, along with the fact that successfully getting celebrities convicted of any real crimes can often be rather difficult.

Now that Netflix has decided to shelve Cosby’s stand-up special with all the bad buzz around the comic’s past, there’s also a good chance that NBC may reconsider bringing him back for a new comedy series on the network. There’s been some rumblings behind the scenes about whether or not the new project will move forward, and if these rape accusers keep coming forward and being vocal (as well they should), then don’t count on Cosby making a sitcom comeback.

It’s a shame that it’s taken so long for these allegations to actually get legitimate attention that makes a difference, but we’re glad Netflix has decided to not give Cosby any good publicity until the truth is discovered for certain. Maybe this high profile resurgence of alleged sex crimes committed by a celebrity will inspire other victims to come forward, even outside of the Cosby case. Sex crimes should not go unnoticed, and celebrities are not above the law.

UPDATE: TV Line reports NBC has now officially decided to halt development on the new comedy series that would have starred Bill Cosby.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.