Even Though You Think You Already Know It All, You Really Ought to Watch “We Need To Talk About Cosby”

For how public Cosby’s long, long fall from grace was, it’s easy these days to make a cursory acknowledgment of how he was a monster. That line of thinking really avoids the critical work that society at large needs to do. The system and webs of complicity that allowed Cosby to operate as a deity that took sacrificial tribute in the form of drugging and raping women he desired need to be examined at such a acute degree if we all really want to move forward and never have this happen again.

Thus, it’s pretty crucial that most folks watch W. Kamau Bell’s critical and very important docu-series We Need to Talk About Cosby and his latest work to date (trigger warning to anyone sensitive to very detailed accounts of sexual assault and rape). Bell’s judicious lens painstakingly paints a devastating portrait of a man, who believed he essentially was a god, beyond reproach for any of his actions because his benevolence was plentiful (his legendary comedy career, multi-million dollar donations to HBCUs, advancing representation in entertainment for black people on all fronts, etc.). The level of detail and the wide scope of conversations (with survivors, people who worked on The Cosby Show, experts of all kinds, and, of course, comedians) presented in We Need to Talk About Cosby show that acknowledge the gravity of Cosby’s crimes and betrayal of the public trust he gained that absolutely needs to reverberate and never be forgotten.

The four episodes of We Need to Talk About Cosby accomplish its eponymous goal and digging into answering the age old question of “Can you separate the art from the artist?” and, more importantly, trying to figure out whether we should be separating the art from the artist in the first place.

We Need to Talk About Cosby is now streaming via Showtime.