Netflix postpones Cosby comedy special, NBC scraps their project altogether
NEW YORK — NBC has decided against moving forward with its Cosby project.
NBC announced on Wednesday that the network has opted not to continue developing a sitcom with the 77-year-old comedian amid growing sexual assault allegations against Cosby.
“We can confirm that the Cosby project is no longer in development,” NBC said.
The network had no further comment.
Additionally, Netflix moved to put the comedian’s debut on hold. The streaming service announced on Monday night that Cosby’s stand-up comedy special, filmed in front of a live audience in July, will no longer premiere as scheduled the day after Thanksgiving.
Netflix said nothing about its rationale. But in a statement, the service said, “At this time we are postponing the launch of the new stand up comedy special ‘Bill Cosby 77.’ ”
A Netflix spokeswoman declined to comment further.
The company had been approached for comment about “Bill Cosby 77” in recent days because charges of sexual assault against Cosby have resurfaced through essays published on the Internet, social media comments and television interviews.
Netflix initially declined to comment, but apparently concluded that a postponement was the right course of action. Cosby’s publicist, David Brokaw, said Cosby was in agreement with Netflix’s decision to postpone the special, and had no further comment.
Separately, NBC has been developing a new sitcom with Cosby. The network has declined to comment.
In an interview on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” one of the women who has accused Cosby of sexual offenses, Barbara Bowman, said she thought it was “a little bit on the irresponsible side” for NBC to be contemplating a new Cosby series.
A second accuser, Joan Tarshis, told Philadelphia magazine that “in an ideal world, I would love NBC to cancel the series they’re doing with him, but that involves money, not ethics. So that’s not going to happen.”
Cosby has never been charged with a crime.
On Sunday his attorney, John P. Schmitt, said the allegations against Cosby had been “discredited” and added, “The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment.”