Barbara Bowman, who recently renewed her accusation that Bill Cosby drugged and raped her years ago, is taking her anti-Cosby campaign to NBC. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bowman says the network is wrong to develop a sitcom in which Cosby would star as the head of a large family.
“I think it’s irresponsible to put him back in a position of a patriarchal father, in an authoritative and trusted position,” Bowman tells THR. “I’m very disappointed that he would be endorsed in that [type of role] again.”
NBC declined to comment on Bowman’s statements.
Bowman, who volunteers for advocacy group PAVE (Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment), said that Cosby playing an avuncular, loving character, much like the one he played on The Cosby Show and in Jell-O commercials, is a “lie” and an “insult to the public.”
“It’s time that the networks take a good, hard look at who they’re supporting and where the money is coming [from],” she said of Cosby, who has had some TV appearances canceled recently in the wake of renewed attention on sexual assault allegations. The legendary comic still has a new stand-up special set to premiere Nov. 26 on Netflix.
According to NBC, Cosby’s show is still in active development, although there is currently just a script commitment with no penalty if the show doesn’t happen.
Bowman says she is unsure why it took comedian Hannibal Buress‘ onstage evisceration of Cosby last month for a public uproar to arise, although she thinks that social media helped the cause. She commends Buress “for putting his own career on the line and standing up for what he believes in,” and she refers to Cosby’s botched meme generator effort on social media as a “wake-up call” for the star.
Bowman’s claims date back to the 1980s, when she alleges she was drugged and raped at the age of 18 by Cosby, whom she considered a trusted mentor. She recently wrote an op-ed piece for the Washington Post, detailing her experience. In 2006, Cosby settled out of court with another woman who claimed he sexually assaulted her.
Cosby’s rep released a statement Sunday, a day after the star refused to respond to questions about the resurfaced allegations during an NPR interview. “The fact that [the claims] are being repeated does not make them true,” the statement read. “Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment.”