The trailer opens with actress Eden Tirl, one of more than 60 women who have come forward with allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against the comedian, demanding Bell keep her testimony unedited. “You can’t do what he did unless you have other people supporting what you’re doing,” Tirl says. Throughout the remaining two minutes of the trailer, journalists, entertainers, and media professionals unpack their personal relationships with a once-beloved, now disgraced, comedy icon, and reevaluate Cosby’s legacy in the wake of his 2018 conviction and sentencing to three-to-ten years in prison at 81-years-old for the 2004 assault of Andrea Constand.
In an op-ed for TIME that accompanied the premiere of the documentary’s trailer, Bell admits his reluctance to grapple with Cosby’s history of drugging and raping women. “This is a third-rail conversation for Black folks. Whether you believe the women, whether you think Cosby is (or ever was) a hero, there are too many land mines. This is combined with the fact that no matter what you think about Cosby, Black folks in the U.S. are always living under a deficit of role models and representation,” Bell writes. “Consider all that alongside the fact that America has a well-earned reputation for criminalizing and killing innocent Black men. There is no perceived gain in taking a Black man down,” Bell adds.
Watch the official trailer for We Need to Talk About Cosby below. Tune into Showtime on January 30th for the premiere of part one of the series.
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