As sex assault charges continue to emerge against aging comedian Bill Cosby, NBC has cut ties with the embattled star, dealing a blow to his dream of returning to network television in a new pilot project, the Huffington Post reports.
In November, NBC released plans to drop a pilot project, which had been in early development, and would have starred Cosby as the patriarch of a multigenerational family, the news outlet reports. But plans were put on hold as a steady stream of women came forward with accusations that the comedian raped or assaulted them.
Network officials recently revealed more details about what went in to the decision:
“Fifteen women came out and accused him,” NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said during panel at the TCA winter press tour. “While over the years we’d heard some of those accusations and knew there were settlements, it didn’t seem to be the sort of thing that was critical mass.
“When we realized there seemed to be so much more of it, it wasn’t something where we could go, ‘Oh, we’re not sure.’ He hasn’t been proven guilty of anything. I don’t want to be the one who says, ‘Guilty until proven innocent,’ but when that many people come out and have similar complaints, it causes such a tainted situation there was no way we could move forward with it.
The good news is, unlike Netflix which had a special to run, we were developing a script — we didn’t even have a first draft … I’m glad we’re out from under that.” (Netflix postponed its Cosby project, “Bill Cosby 77,” in November, before it was supposed to air.)
As Variety noted, Greenblatt said it was “safe to say” NBC would not collaborate with Cosby on future projects.