News

Bill Cosby Is Losing His TV Show Because of the Rape Allegations

Besmirched by sexual assault allegations, the comedian is on a losing streak with sponsors and television networks.

by Grant Pardee
Nov 19 2014, 10:49pm

Photo via Flickr user ​Craig Dugas

The House of Cosby—once a mighty comedy empire and cash cow—is in tatters after a ​seemingly endless series of allegations that Bill Cosby drugged and raped multiple women over the course of decades. The public image of the star has all of a sudden shifted from "avuncular authority figure with silly sweaters and a speech impediment" to "calculated, opportunistic predator with a taste for pudding."

Though these accusations have been circulating for some time, today was the first time Cosby's career took a serious hit, with Netflix announcing that it was delaying the release of Cosby's stand-up special Bill Cosby 77 indefinitely (it was initially scheduled to debut on November 28, Cosby's 77th birthday). Meanwhile, NBC canceled plans for a new sitcom that would have Bill Cosby starring as a grandfather figure, and ​rep​orts circulated that TV Land was pulling Cosby Show reruns out of its schedule. 

(The NBC show had already received a script order, so the star will still receive a ​significant payout.)

The women who have accused Cosby of sexually assaulted them have shockingly similar stories, and they generally go something like this: Young attractive aspiring actress/model somehow crosses paths with Cosby (either in person or he sees their photo somewhere), which leads to an invitation from Mr. Jell-O Pudding himself to provide mentorship and company, which leads to a hazy recollection of a drink or pill knocking them out cold, which leads to them waking up in a compromised position.

The accusers include ​Janice Dickinson, who says she was drugged and raped by Cosby and that she had planned to include this in her memoir but was stopped by her publisher, HarperCollins, after receiving pressure from Cosby's legal team.

Meanwhile, according to Radar​ Online another accuser, Linda Joy Traitz, posted on her personal Face​book page yesterday that she too had an encounter with Cosby during which she was given drugs to help her "relax" and defended herself from "sexually aggressive" behavior from the comedian.

This past Sunday, music industry publicist Joan Taharis published an essay describing her experiences as a 19-year-old aspiring writer. She wrote, in part:

The next thing I remember was coming to on his couch while being undressed. Through the haze I thought I was being clever when I told him I had an infection and he would catch it and his wife would know he had sex with someone. But he just found another orifice to use. I was sickened by what was happening to me and shocked that this man I had idolized was now raping me. Of course I told no one.

Naturally, Taharis then had to deal with losers like CNN's Don Lemon, who ​insinuated that maybe she was asking for it since she didn't bite his dick off when she had the chance.

These stories are in addition to the allegations from Barbara Bowman and a dozen other women, and the ranks of women who say Cosby attacked them seem to grow with each passing day.

Of course, Cosby is only guilty in the court of public opinion and his only punishment is being less beloved and having fewer opportunities to appear on television. Neither Cosby nor his team has acknowledged the allegations, and the comedian is in no legal danger whatsoever.

Still, it's been a rough year for comedy icons. Woody Allen was accused of being a child molester, Robin Williams committed suicide, and now Bill Cosby looks guilty as fuck. But who do we worship now? Who will Jerry Seinfeld book next on his webseries? It's almost like our system of validating narcissists with higher levels of sociopathy than the general population is completely misguided or something.

Follow Grant Pardee on ​Twitter.