We Need to Talk About Cosby creator W. Kamau Bell was recently asked his thoughts on Bill Cosby’s announced plans last month to return to the stand-up stage for a 2023 comedy tour that nobody asked for.
While appearing at Sundance to collect a nonfiction Vanguard Award, the acclaimed director and executive producer of the Showtime docuseries offered these comments, according to THR:
Bell tracked his journey from “weirdo” comedy fan to stand-up comedian to journalistic storyteller and documentary filmmaker, as he gradually worked to sort and refine his unique perspective about the world around him. He said attributing credit where credit is due was always important to him, as he asked himself frequently on set, “Whose idea was this?”
Bell admits to being a reformed Cosby fan in the Showtime documentary series, which he narrates, and he credits his own outsider status as the driving force behind his series — which takes a multi-angle approach to explain how Cosby’s rise to prominence gave way to a long history of criminally devious behavior, aided and abetted by a profiteering network power structure.
Cosby was convicted in 2018 of criminal sexual assault by a Pennsylvania court, however the decision was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2021 after serving just three years in prison.
Speaking to WGH Talk host Scott Spears last month, Cosby said about his decision to go back on tour in 2023:
Simultaneously, five women filed a lawsuit last month accusing the former NBC sitcom star of sexual assault occurring at the height ofThe Cosby Show. The lawsuit coincides with New York temporarily suspending the statute of limitations on older sexual crimes with the Adult Survivors Act. In June 2022, Cosby was ordered by a California civil court jury to pay $500,000 to another victim whom he was alleged to have sexually assaulted in 1975, when she was 16 years old.