Bill Cosby is speaking out following the premiere of W. Kamau Bell’s docuseries We Need to Talk About Cosby, which premiered Saturday (January 22) at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.
The docuseries chronicles Cosby’s storied professional career along with his downfall following accusations of sexual assault and harassment by more than 60 women. He was subsequently convicted of sexual assault in 2018 and received a prison sentence, but was released in June after his conviction was vacated by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
A representative for Cosby implied in a written statement to Entertainment Weekly that the actor’s detractors continue to use social media and news outlets to attack his character, although the allegations have ever been proven in any court of law.
"Mr. Cosby has spent more than 50 years standing with the excluded,” the statement reads; “Made it possible for some to be included; standing with the disenfranchised; and standing with those women and men who were denied respectful work… because of race and gender… within the expanses of the entertainment industries.”
The statement adds that the same media outlets he believes is targeting him omitted truths about his case.
"Mr. Cosby continues to be the target of numerous media that have, for too many years, distorted and omitted truths… intentionally." Cosby's rep added that despite reports of allegations, "none have ever been proven in any court of law."
The statement concludes that Cosby welcomes discussions about his legacy and “vehemently denies all allegations waged against him.
Bell has since responded to Cosby’s response to his docuseries, saying that both racism and wrongdoing by men can co-exist.
"The funny thing about this is, because of how America works and how racism works here, there are ways in which a system of white supremacy would target a powerful Black man to bring him down — and that has happened throughout history in this country,” he told EW. “But that doesn't always mean that the Black man didn't do something wrong. There are racist forces that are happy for Bill Cosby's downfall, but that doesn't mean that there aren't more than 60 women who have accused him of rape and sexual assault, and those aren't credible accusations."
We Need to Talk About Cosby also details the actor and comedian’s behavior during the filming of his popular NBC sitcom The Cosby Show, and accounts from assistants and audience members he brought to tapings of the program.
We Need to Talk About Cosby premieres Jan. 30 at 10 p.m. EST/PST on Showtime.