Two cable television networks aimed at black audiences said Tuesday that they would no longer air shows starring Bill Cosby, who has been accused by several women of sexual assault.
The announcements from Bounce TV and BET came one day after the Associated Press published court records showing that in 2005, Bill Cosby admitted in a deposition to purchasing quaaludes with the intent of giving them to women he wanted to have sex with.
Bounce TV was the first network to pull a Cosby series from the air in light of the news. It had previously broadcast episodes of Cosby, which originally ran from 1996 to 2000.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Bounce TV — which debuted in 2011 and counts Martin Luther King III and Andrew Young among its co-founders — said it would "cease airing the television series Cosby immediately."
Hours later, BET announced that it too is "no longer airing The Cosby Show episodes on Centric," one of its affiliates.
Netflix currently streams episodes of A Different World, a show created by Cosby, and has not announced any changes to its show options. BuzzFeed News has reached out for additional information.
This is not the first time broadcast networks have pulled Cosby's show. In November 2014, TV Land pulled all video clips from The Cosby Show off of its website, just one day after NBC pulled the plug on its Cosby project, which it had originally announced that January.
"I think he's extraordinary," NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt told a group of reporters, including BuzzFeed News, back in July 2014. "And I think the show will be good. All the other things will sort of sort themselves out."
According to the Pennsylvania court records unsealed on Monday, Cosby elaborated on an encounter he had with a woman backstage at a show in Las Vegas.
"I give her the quaaludes. We then have sex," he said under oath during a deposition in 2005.
The now-77-year-old comedian also testified to giving a former Temple University employee three halves of Benadryl pills. A civil lawsuit filed against Cosby regarding that encounter was later settled for an undisclosed amount in 2006.
NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said of Cosby in July 2014, “I think he’s extraordinary. And I think the show will be good. All the other things will sort of sort themselves out.” The quote was previously misattributed.
Tamerra Griffin is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based Nairobi, Kenya.
Contact Tamerra Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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