Breaking: NBC, Netflix cancel Cosby projects over allegations of sexual assault

Posted on November 19 2014 , at 08:40 pm
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By Kenneth Atisele

Bill Cosby, NBC and Netflix have set aside projects with Mr. Cosby, and a lawyer for him issued a denial of a new claim from a woman who said he raped her decades ago. Photo: NY Times
NBC and Netflix have set aside projects with Bill Cosby over the sexual assault allegations. Photo: NY Times

In the latest fallout from the sexual assault allegations against popular comedian, Bill Cosby, NBC and Netflix have set aside projects undertaken with the comedian.

NBC said on today that it has shelved plans to develop a new situation comedy starring Cosby in a decision that has followed a week of revelations about accusations of rape and sexual assault against him.

NBC offered no comment on the decision and did not say that it was directly related to the fusillade of accounts of previous claims of assault that at least five women have made against Cosby.

On its own, Netflix released a brief statement late Tuesday announcing that it had decided to shelve a show commemorating the comic’s 77th birthday, which was scheduled to appear on the service starting Nov 28.

The statement read: At this time we are postponing the launch of the new stand-up comedy special, ‘Bill Cosby 77.’

In the NBC project, which is still in the early stages of development and did not have a finished script, Cosby, who was one of the biggest prime-time comedy stars in the history of NBC, was to have played the patriarch of a large family in the new show.

The decisions come in the face of a wave of reaction to decades-old accusations of sexual assault against the global comic icon in recent weeks. In a television interview on Tuesday, the former model, Janice Dickinson became at least the fifth woman to come forward with on-the-record accusations that Cosby assaulted her.

The furor has clearly put Cosby’s career in limbo, he has been compelled to cancel a number of television guest appearances, most recently one originally scheduled for Wednesday with David Letterman. The Netflix special had been promoted for some time by the streaming service.

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