W. Kamau Bell’s new Bill Cosby docuseries will debut on Showtime


Only a week after its January 22 premiere next month at Sundance Film Festival, W. Kamau Bell’s docuseries, We Need to Talk About Cosby will begin airing on Showtime. The project is already one of the most talked about non-fiction titles debuting at the influential film festival. Showtime has already released a teaser trailer in advance of the series.

The four-part documentary, directed by the United Shades of America host, will delve into Bill Cosby’s history as one of the most influential entertainers of all time, as well as his descent into infamy in the wake of multiple accusations of drug-facilitated sexual assault, rape, and sexual misconduct by more than 60 different women.

PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 14: Host of ‘United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell’ W. Kamau Bell poses in the green room during the TCA Turner Winter Press Tour 2017 Presentation at The Langham Resort on January 14, 2017, in Pasadena, California. 26574_002 (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Turner)

“I am a child of Bill Cosby”, the comic/documentarian states in the opening moments of the network trailer for the project. Bell said, “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.” Bell will address the enormity of having to reckon with the horrific behavior of someone you idolized. The series will feature archival footage as well as interviews with Bell and Cosby’s fellow comedians, cultural critics, and commentators, and several individuals that deliver their personal testimony regarding Cosby’s treatment of them. Showtime has stated that the series will ask viewers to “reconsider Cosby’s mark in a society where rape culture, toxic masculinity, capitalism, and white supremacy are shaping how we re-evaluate sex, power, and agency.”

According to Vinnie Malhotra, EVP, Nonfiction Programming, Showtime Networks, “Kamau has bravely ventured into a very complicated and nuanced area of the Bill Cosby story, which has yet to be explored in this depth. It’s an important and under-reported perspective on the legacy of one of history’s most iconic African American entertainers,”

“I’m not sure he would want me to do this work, but Cliff Huxtable definitely would.” said Bell.

We Need to Talk About Bill Cosby will begin airing on Showtime on Jan. 30.