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

Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:00am 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.

Cosby's lawyers have called the allegations of sexual assault "discredited" and "defamatory."

Cosby's representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the NBC and Netflix cancellations.

The damage to Cosby's career reached the reruns of "The Cosby Show," a top-rate NBC comedy in which he played his most famous role as the affable patriarch, Dr. Cliff Huxtable. A spokeswoman for Viacom Inc's basic cable channel TV Land said the show is being pulled from its schedule, without commenting further.

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.

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.   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