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Comedian and filmmaker W. Kamau Bell calls himself a “child of Bill Cosby” — one who will now try to unpack Cosby’s influential career and descent into infamy after being accused of sexual assault by dozens of women.
Bell (CNN’s United Shades of America) is behind a four-part docuseries, We Need to Talk About Cosby, that Showtime has picked up. The series will debut on the ViacomCBS premium cable outlet on Jan. 30, eight days after its premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.
“As a child of Bill Cosby, I was a huge fan of all his shows and wanted to be a comedian because of him,” said Bell. “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.”
We Need to Talk About Cosby will unpack how Cosby’s desire for power, which propelled his professional success, could be the same driving force that motivated his alleged crimes against women. It will contrast the performer, philanthropist and role model that made up Cosby’s public persona for decades with the accused sexual predator that now defines him.
“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,” said Vinnie Malhotra, executive vp nonfiction programming at Showtime. “It’s an important and under-reported perspective on the legacy of one of history’s most iconic African American entertainers.”
Boardwalk Pictures produces the series in association with WKB Industries. Bell directs and executive produces with Andrew Fried, Katie A. King, Dane Lillegard, Jordan Wynn and Sarina Roma. King serves as showrunner. Geraldine Porras is co-exec producer.
Watch a teaser below.
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