As NBC Distances Itself from Bill Cosby, A Decades-Long Career Crumbles

This Nov. 18, 2013 photo shows actor-comedian Bill Cosby in New York. NBC is confirming that Cosby is developing a possible new sitcom he would star in. (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP, File)
This Nov. 18, 2013 photo shows actor-comedian Bill Cosby in New York. NBC is confirming that Cosby is developing a possible new sitcom he would star in. (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP, File)
This Nov. 18, 2013 photo shows actor-comedian Bill Cosby in New York. NBC is confirming that Cosby is developing a possible new sitcom he would star in. (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP, File)

 

(The Washington Post) – Bill Cosby’s dazzling, decades-long career as one of America’s most beloved entertainers appeared to be toppling this week amid a succession of allegations painting Cosby as a serial sexual predator.

On Wednesday, NBC — the network that roared back to television supremacy in the 1980s thanks to Cosby’s warmhearted family sitcom — joined the list of entertainment companies and TV programs that have abandoned projects or distanced themselves from the 77-year-old comedian and actor amid the cascade of shocking headlines.

NBC scrapped development of an upcoming TV sitcom starring Cosby, one day after Netflix, the video streaming service, backed away from a special that would have saluted Cosby for his long career and comic gifts. Also on Wednesday, cable’s TVLand channel said it would stop airing re-runs of “The Cosby Show,” his iconic, career-making sitcom. Scheduled appearances on “The Queen Latifah Show” and “Late Show with David Letterman” have also been canceled in recent weeks.

Cosby’s growing isolation from an industry that once embraced and profited from him comes amid a series of testimonials from women who said he drugged them and sexually abused them over three and a half decades — an image diametrically opposed to the affable father and humorous grandpa figures that Cosby cultivated.

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