Lionsgate has pulled out of documentary project about Bill Cosby

Lionsgate has pulled out of documentary project about Bill Cosby. The project was apparently being made with Cosby’s cooperation and was in the works for years, and garnered attention since his release from prison.

The Dark Side of ‘America’s Dad’

According to Variety, Lionsgate has chosen to no longer work on the project, and it’s unlikely that it will find a welcoming home anywhere else.

Cosby was once “America’s Dad,” an actor and comedian that stole our hearts and sold us Jell-o. Beneath that facade, however, Cosby had some truly awful secrets. In 2018, he was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand. More than 60 women came forward in 2014 with credible allegations of him drugging and raping them, going back decades. Cosby has denied the allegations from the start, despite settling a lawsuit with Constand in 2006 for more than $3 million. In the deposition of that suit, he admitted to giving women Benadryl and Quaaludes before sex.

That admission sealed his fate, but it also ended up freeing him three years after his sentencing. Because he gave that confession under the promise of avoiding criminal charges, it became inadmissable in his criminal case. It’s an infuriating bit of circumstance that set him free, especially given the litany of other testimony against him. Since he was freed on June 30 after his conviction was overturned, his spokesperson Andrew Wyatt has been extremely vocal about a five-part docuseries by documentarian Michelle Major. Major is best knowns for her work on the 2013 documentary Venus and Serena, which she co-directed and co-produced.

Variety reached out to Major and Lionsgate for more information or comments about the project. But were only able to confirmed that the project is dead at Lionsgate.

An Unlikely Return

Wyatt disputes Variety’s reporting, responding to their requests for comments with “I just spoke to Michelle Major and nothing has been canceled by Lionsgate. Your story is in accurate.”

Wyatt has been promoting a “comeback tour” of sorts for the disgraced Cosby. According to an interview with Wyatt in the Los Angeles Times, Cosby plans to return to the comedy stage. He went on to say that those plans would require culling “media insurrectionists” who only “fuel the hate” from the audience. As of July 7, when that piece was published, Cosby had not yet sat for an interview with Major. Wyatt did claim, however, that the project was nearly dones.

Even if the project was totally complete, who would want to pick it up and release it? What’s the point in giving more attention to a serial abuser of women who clearly feels no remorse? It’s unlikely that this ill-conceived vanity project will see the light of day anytime soon.

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