Comedian W. Kamau Bell will try to contend with the legacy of Bill Cosby in light of the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against him in a new four-part docuseries, We Need to Talk About Cosby. The project will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 22 before arriving in full on Showtime Jan. 30 at 10 p.m. ET.
In a short trailer for the docuseries, Bell states: “I am a child of Bill Cosby. You know what I mean. I’m a Black man, a stand-up comic, born in the Seventies — Bill Cosby had been one of my heroes.” But alluding to the more than 60 women who’ve accused Cosby of rape, drug-facilitated sexual assault, and sexual battery, Bell continues: “This was fucked up.”
We Need to Talk About Cosby will delve into Cosby’s cultural impact and how the allegations against him overpowered his long-standing image as a role model and philanthropist. Bell will also examine the way Cosby sought and wielded his power, both as an entertainment industry powerhouse and as an alleged serial sexual predator.
“As a child of Bill Cosby, I was a huge fan of all his shows and wanted to be a comedian because of him,” Bell said in a statement. “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.”
Back in June, Cosby was released from prison after a successful appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which overturned a 2018 sexual assault conviction. At the end of November, Kevin Steele, the district attorney for Montgomery County in Pennsylvania, filed a petition appealing the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.