Netflix released an eerie teaser for the new documentary Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed on Tuesday, and it asks far more questions than it answers. The 35-second clip shows one black and white photo of Ross in front of his easel, accompanied by creepy music and words on the screen. It indicates that there will be some big revelations in the documentary when it premieres next week.
"We want to show you the trailer for Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed, but we can't. Find out why on August 25," the text on the screen says. The only other sound is a male voice — possibly Ross' or his son's — saying: "I've been wanting to get this story out for all these years." Ross is considered the pinnacle of peace and serenity by many, so this creepy teaser has fans' imaginations running wild.
Ross was the creator and host of the PBS show The Joy of Painting, which ran from 1983 to 1994. He gave tutorials and encouragement to viewers for all that time, often saying that there were no "mistakes" in art, just "happy little accidents." That catchphrase has a much darker tone in the context of this Netflix documentary.
Ross passed away in 1995 at the age of 52 due to cancer, and according to a report by CNET his death was followed by a protracted legal battle between his son Steve Ross and his business partners Annette and Walt Kowalski. Steve Ross will appear in Netflix's documentary, so it seems that the movie will give a fresh look at that case.
As this teaser makes the rounds on social media, commenters are terrified by what it implies. Many have left replies on Twitter fearing that the documentary will tarnish Ross' legacy and force them to rethink all the simple joy his show provided.
"Are you going to ruin my happy memories of Bob?" one person asked Netflix. Another wrote: "NO. LEAVE BOB ROSS ALONE," while a third added: "I am intrigued." Other commenters more familiar with Ross' life behind the scenes made their best guesses about what the documentary will cover.
Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed is directed by Joshua Rofé, edited by Allan Duso and produced by M. Elizabeth Hughes, Melissa McCarthy, Steven J. Berger, Ben Falcone and Divya D'Souza. The late Bob Ross himself is listed as the movie's main star, and the synopsis does mention "a battle for his business empire." Beyond that, little is known about the upcoming movie.
Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed premieres on Wednesday, Aug. 25 on Netflix. You can stream episodes of The Joy of Painting on Tubi, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.