Netflix Nixes Its Bill Cosby Special (for Now)

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Netflix late Tuesday indefinitely shelved next week’s planned premiere of its Bill Cosby stand-up special, just hours after model Janice Dickinson became the latest woman to accuse the comic of rape. "At this time we are postponing the launch of the new stand up comedy special Bill Cosby 77,” a Netflix spokesperson told Vulture and other media outlets that had been inquiring about the status of the project. As recently as Tuesday afternoon, the special was still slated to debut on the streaming service on November 28. But with Dickinson’s revelation on Entertainment Tonight making her the 15th — and most high-profile — Cosby accuser, Netflix clearly believed it no longer made sense to associate itself with the comic in such a high-profile way. (As we noted Tuesday, the company’s need to protect its brand as a progressive, leading-edge tech company far outweighs any potential financial loss from delaying or abandoning 77). Netflix’s move will increase the pressure on NBC to say or do something about the Cosby-starring sitcom project it’s been developing. It’s almost impossible to imagine the project going forward; the only question now is when NBC will acknowledge that reality.

UPDATE: NBC has scrapped its planned Cosby sitcom.