Bill Cosby Series 'We Need to Talk About Cosby' Trailer Released

A trailer is here for the new documentary series We Need to Talk About Cosby, which premieres on Showtime at the end of this month. The trailer indicates just how hard this subject is for many people to talk about, including comedians, fans and Cosby's own colleagues. It also emphasizes why the filmmaker believes the U.S. needs to talk about this subject regardless.

We Need to Talk About Cosby is a four-part docuseries created by W. Kamau Bell, a writer, stand-up comic and filmmaker. In the trailer, Bell is blunt about the fact that he idolized Cosby when he was a child and throughout much of his life. He then speaks to others in a similar position about Cosby's conviction for sexual assault, and the accusations of over 60 women going back over six decades.

The trailer gives a taste of some of the interviews that make up the documentary – mostly Black American creators of various ages remarking on the stark difference between Cosby's legacy before and after 2017. It even points to some of the forgotten jokes in Cosby's work which now seem like red flags pointing toward his alleged crimes. In some clips, interviewees are handed a tablet to watch a scene from The Cosby Show or a joke from a stand-up routine, and they gasp in horror.

Showtime also released an official synopsis for the docuseries, which reads: "Cosby, the renowned comedian, actor, philanthropist and African American icon, who for decades was revered as 'America's Dad,' has gained infamy as a criminal defendant in a sexual-assault prosecution. The series explores the complex story of Cosby's life and work, weighing his actions against his indisputable global influence through interviews with comedians, cultural commentators, journalists and women who share their most personal, harrowing encounters with Cosby."

"Through archival footage, Cosby reveals who he may have been all along – the antithesis of the principled, public figure who became a hero, not only to African American people but to all people," it continues. Showtime promises the documentary will offer "viewers the chance to reconsider Cosby's mark in a society where rape culture, toxic masculinity, capitalism and white supremacy are shaping how we re-evaluate sex, power and agency."

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We Need to Talk About Cosby will make its global premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, Jan. 22 before premiering on Showtime on Sunday, Jan. 30 at 10 p.m. ET. All four episodes will premiere at once, and will be streaming on the Showtime app as well.