With We Need To Talk About Bill Cosby, Writer and Director W. Kamau Bell explores the complexities of Bill Cosby. While it dwells into the man’s career triumph, his efforts at building an image, and his efforts at helping the Black community, there are also accounts of his alleged depravity from the harrowing accounts by countless women.
His importance as one of America’s greatest entertainers is set off against the lives he allegedly destroyed. The four-part series attempts to give the full picture of Cosby’s crimes along with the system that allowed them to be perpetrated with impunity over years. It also examines Bill Cosby the person.
Right at the opening, director Bell says that as a black man he owes his success in part to Bill Cosby. He was part of shaping a lot of lives. His shows were a beacon for many black entertainers for the last 4-5 decades. But he also makes it immediately obvious that he accept as true that Cosby is guilty of his alleged crimes.
It Is Tough To Reconcile The Bill Cosby The Actor And His Later Day Image
There are interviews of Black media figures and academics, former actors of this person, who was a part of the fabric of society for the 60s and 70s generations, and even later. People watched his shows as a family many times and quoted from them for years. And then they get to learn about the real Bill.
At some point in time, you had to decide in your head that Dr. Cosby and Bill Cosby were two different people. That one could have their fond memories of Dr. Cosby from the show and still hate Bill at the same time.
Across the documentary, Bell highlights that Bill Cosby’s clean image was always colored by hints of his crimes against women. Women talk about trusting him initially because of his benign persona of standing up for the Blacks. But there is a revealing moment when he turns on a reporter for daring to question him about his sexual assault allegations.
Bill Cosby continues to be popular among a section of the people because he was among the rare group of Black people who had control over the show. But then today he is remembered as a rapist who once had a big show going.