Jerrod Carmichael’s The Carmichael Show was praised in its first season for the show’s no-holds-barred conversations on race relations, and it’s looking to push the boundaries even further: Entertainment Weekly reports that the show’s second season will have a full episode dedicated to tackling Bill Cosby and the dozens of abuse allegations he’s facing. Carmichael — who was once “summoned” by Cosby to meet with him at Cosby’s L.A. home — will co-write the episode with the show’s executive producer, Mike Scully. As EW notes, the episode will be controversial not just because of the sensitive nature of the subject, but because NBC was once home to The Cosby Show. (In 2014, NBC even cut ties with Cosby on a new sitcom the two were developing together after the accusations came to light.) And while Carmichael says the network initially gave him a hard no on covering Cosby, NBC execs have since given him their blessing. Carmichael tells EW that the episode will approach the subject from the angle of “the dilemma of any fan” (not unlike cultural conversations about R. Kelly) but won’t make any judgments regarding Cosby’s guilt or innocence:
“Removed from the legal aspects of it, removed from all of the accusations, I think it’s the most fair argument on what’s happening with Bill Cosby that you’re going to see on television. It’s the most honest, sincere argument about it. It’s both sides. It’s people not knowing what to do with it. There’s doubt, there’s the acknowledgement of how horrendous the accusations are. I think we balance the argument. That’s what we try to do with every episode, but especially this one because we didn’t want any agenda, any narrative. This isn’t a ‘Let’s defend Bill Cosby’ episode. This is also not a ‘Let’s persecute him’ [episode]. It’s really just, ‘Well, this is how I feel about his work. This is what he meant to me and with these circumstances, this is how I’m trying to deal with that.’”
Carmichael also reveals that season two will explore gentrification, Islamophobia, cheating, and the death of a family member. The Carmichael Show is set to return this spring.