NBC, Netflix cancel Bill Cosby's shows after sex assault claims

Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:53pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - NBC said on Wednesday it has canceled an upcoming project with veteran comedian Bill Cosby, his second show to be pulled after accusations that he sexually assaulted women resurfaced in recent weeks.

The move by NBC comes a day after online streaming company Netflix Inc said it was postponing Cosby's stand-up comedy special "Bill Cosby 77," which was due to be released on Nov. 28.

The 77-year-old Cosby is fighting to protect one of the most storied careers in stand-up comedy and television. He is scheduled to go ahead with a performance on Friday at a sold-out show in Florida, the King Center for the Performing Arts said on its website on Wednesday.

Comcast Corp-owned NBC said in a statement that "the Cosby project is no longer in development," while declining to comment further. The project was still in its early stages, with no script delivered and no production date secured.

Cosby's representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the NBC and Netflix cancellations. Cosby's lawyers have called the allegations of sexual assault "discredited" and "defamatory."

Allegations that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted several young women decades ago gained renewed attention after comedian Hannibal Buress called him a rapist during a stand-up comedy routine last month.

Neither NBC nor Netflix referred to the accusations in their statements.

Late Tuesday, model Janice Dickinson became the most high profile accuser against Cosby, telling Entertainment Tonight she believed she had been sexually assaulted by Cosby in 1982.   Continued...

Actor Bill Cosby speaks at the National Action Network's 20th annual Keepers of the Dream Awards gala in New York April 6, 2011.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson