Netflix and NBC have decided to back away from a pair of Bill Cosby comedies as rape allegations continue to mount against the comedian. Netflix was preparing to release Bill Cosby 77, a comedy special filmed on on his 77th birthday, later this month, but it will now be "postponing" the special's release. The special was supposed to focus on "relationships, marriage, and children." NBC is choosing to entirely end production on a family sitcom that it was developing, with Cosby set to star, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
15 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault
By Vox's count, 15 women have now come out with sexual assault allegations against Cosby. The claims form a consistent picture too, of Cosby allegedly drugging the victim with a pill or spiked drink. While these allegations have circled Cosby for decades, they've started to resurface again with more women accusing him of sexual assault over the past few weeks. Cosby's website also launched a meme generator last week, which people quickly used to condemn the comedian over these allegations.
Cosby's lawyer has called these allegations "decades old" and "discredited," writing that, "Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment."
Netflix and NBC haven't provided any comment on why they're choosing to move away from Cosby, but it's pretty clear that they don't want to be seen as supporting him as these allegations grow. That said, in its statement to various outlets, Netflix has only said that it is "postponing the launch" of Cosby's special, so there remains the chance that its special will still be published at a later date. NBC's series had only reached a development phase and was reportedly targeting a debut next fall.
Update November 19th, 1:30PM ET: this story has been updated to note that NBC has now decided not to move forward with Cosby's sitcom.