Bill Cosby has responded to the release of We Need to Talk About Cosby, W. Kamau Bell’s docuseries, which was screened at Sundance Film Festival last weekend. Over the course of four parts, Bell examines the complicated legacy of the actor-comedian, who was simultaneously known as “America’s Dad” as well as an accused sexual predator of upwards of 60 women.
“Mr. Cosby has spent more than 50 years standing with the excluded; made it possible for some to be included; standing with the disenfranchised; and standing with those women and men who were denied respectful work because of race and gender within the expanses of the entertainment industries,” Cosby’s rep, Andrew Wyatt, said in a statement, calling Bell a “PR hack.”
Wyatt adds that Cosby “continues to be the target of numerous media that have, for too many years, distorted and omitted truths… intentionally.”
Cosby was convicted of sexual assault in 2018 and served more than two years in prison before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned the conviction last summer on appeal. In November, prosecutors in Montgomery County, Penn. filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court to review Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court decision.
“Mr. Cosby knows the realities of prosecutorial violations; and that those violations are threats to the integrity of our nation’s criminal justice systems,” Wyatt says. “That is a subject matter for a professional documentary. Let’s talk about Bill Cosby. Mr. Cosby vehemently denies all allegations waged against him. Let’s talk about Bill Cosby. He wants our nation to be what it proclaims itself to be: a democracy.”
We Need to Talk About Cosby delves into all facets of Cosby’s barrier-breaking career while also offering an unvarnished look at his alleged predatory behavior, with a number of women who recounting how Cosby allegedly drugged and raped them in graphic detail. The series also features interviews with Cosby costars, fellow comedians, and critics, who grapple with the comedian’s influential status and how that squares against what was allegedly happening behind the scenes. The series is set to debut on Showtime on Sunday night.
“We Need to Talk About Cosby knows that, in order to reckon with the then and the now of this story, the conversation can’t be swept under the rug,” Rolling Stone’s David Fear wrote in his review of the series. “[Bell] knows that people … have been trying to process the profound schism we experienced regarding what we saw in this massive cultural figure and what we now know about him. These conversations, he noted in his introduction to the virtual screening, had ‘been happening behind closed doors. I think we have to have them out in front of everybody [now].'”