Preview: Bill Cosby: Fall of an American Icon

Bill Cosby

The UK has had its share of high-profile entertainers and public figures who have been shamed for taking advantage of their celebrity to sexually harass and abuse colleagues and impressionable youngsters.  This documentary looks at Bill Cosby, a pioneer for African-Americans in US media in the 1960s, who became a hugely popular actor, comedian and role model to millions and now faces criminal trial for allegedly drugging and raping women over decades.  

It is an incredible story that illustrates the lengths to which studios, PRs and networks will go to protect and accommodate their star ‘talent’ in spite of multiple allegations spanning decades and the detachment and lack of remorse or acknowledgement of wrongdoing from the man himself.

This film explores why it took so long for allegations about Bill Cosby to be taken seriously and hears extraordinary testimony from the journalists, co-stars and the accusers who fought for years for this side of the Cosby story to be heard. Interviewees include Richard Pryor’s widow Jennifer Lee Pryor, as well as accusers, fellow Cosby actor Lili Bernard, and former actor and playboy bunny Victoria Valentino.

Bill Cosby: Fall of an American Icon – Monday at 9pm on BBC2.

Images: BBC/Sugar Films/Vanessa Moussa