NBC has explained through Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt why it reached its decision to scrap plans for Bill Cosby’s return to network TV. During a panel discussion with the Television Critics Association, Greenblatt stated the following:
“Fifteen women came out and accused him…While over the years we’d heard some of those accusations and knew there were settlements, it didn’t seem to be the sort of thing that was critical mass. When we realized there seemed to be so much more of it, it wasn’t something where we could go, ‘Oh, we’re not sure.’ He hasn’t been proven guilty of anything. I don’t want to be the one who says, ‘Guilty until proven innocent.’ But when that many people come out and have similar complaints, it causes such a tainted situation there was no way we could move forward with it. The good news is, unlike Netflix which had a special to run, we were developing a script — we didn’t even have a first draft … I’m glad we’re out from under that.”
Greenblatt went on to say the network would no longer pursue any future deals with Cosby.
The now scrapped Bill Cosby project would have featured the beloved comedian once again in the role of a wise father figure. The show was due to air for the fall 2015 lineup and was considered to be a major source of advertising revenue with sponsors. However, with the revelations of at least 2 dozen women who claimed Cosby sexually assaulted them over the long span of his career, Cosby has witnessed his legacy forever tarnished.