Comedian and filmmaker W. Kamau Bell is tackling a very controversial subject with a new docu-series on Bill Cosby, one that explores his history and also examines the trial, conviction and his subsequent release when an appeals court overturned his conviction

By Ron Wynn

NASHVILLE, TN — W. Kamau Bell has never shied away from controversy, and his latest project will certainly be perhaps his most controversial ever. Its subject is Bill Cosby, and Bell has a four-part docuseries that he says will look at all aspects of both Cosby and the trial. “We Need To Talk About Cosby” is getting two premieres next month, first at the Sundance Film Festival Jan. 22 and then on Showtime Jan. 30 at 9 p.m.. CST. Bell hasn’t done a lot of talking about the series before it airs, and now has released both a trailer for it and a statement. 

In the trailer Bell says “I am a child of Bill Cosby. You know what I mean. I’m a Black man, a stand-up comic, born in the Seventies — Bill Cosby had been one of my heroes.” But alluding to the more than 60 women who’ve accused Cosby of rape, drug-facilitated sexual assault, and sexual battery, Bell continues: “This was (expletive).” “We Need to Talk About Cosby will delve into Cosby’s cultural impact and how the allegations against him overpowered his long-standing image as a role model and philanthropist. Bell will also examine the way Cosby sought and wielded his power, both as an entertainment industry powerhouse and as an alleged serial sexual predator. Bell also discussed the comedian further in his statement. “As a child of Bill Cosby, I was a huge fan of all his shows and wanted to be a comedian because of him, I never thought I’d ever wrestle with who we all thought Cosby was and who we now understand him to be. I’m not sure he would want me to do this work, but Cliff Huxtable definitely would.”

Back in June, Cosby was released from prison after a successful appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which overturned a 2018 sexual assault conviction. At the end of November, Kevin Steele, the district attorney for Montgomery County in Pennsylvania, filed a petition appealing the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. There has not yet been any ruling on the case from the Supreme Court.