Netflix postpones Bill Cosby special as rape allegations escalate

Netflix has yanked a stand-up comedy special featuring Bill Cosby

Netflix has postponed its scheduled broadcast later this month of a stand-up comedy special starring Bill Cosby, the latest salvo fired against the comedian who has been accused by several women of rape and sexual assault.

The announcement by Netflix on Tuesday came just hours after model and TV host Janice Dickinson accused Cosby of sexually assaulting her in 1982. 

"At this time we are postponing the launch of the new standup special "Bill Cosby 77," a Netflix spokesman said in a statement. The special, taped on the performer's 77th birthday, had been scheduled to air Nov. 28. The statement neither gave a reason for the postponement nor did the company specify if the special would be rescheduled.

The firestorm surrounding Cosby has been intensifying in the last several days as several women have spoken out accusing him of sexual assault around the time of his hit sitcom, "The Cosby Show," in the mid-1980s.

One woman wrote in the Washington Post last week that Cosby had drugged and raped her in 1985 when she was an aspiring actress. Music industry publicist Joan Tarshis said in an essay for Hollywood Elsewhere and in a CNN interview that Cosby raped her twice when she was 19 years old.

The latest alleged victim to come forward was Dickinson, who said in an interview on "Entertainment Tonight" that Cosby assaulted her in Lake Tahoe, where he was performing. She said she wrote about the attack in her 2002 autobiography but that she and her publisher were pressured by Cosby and his attorney to withdraw the account.

Cosby has repeatedly denied the accusations, and his lawyer said in a statement Sunday that the allegations had been discredited and that Cosby would not dignify them with a response.

A planned comedy series starring Cosby as the patriarch of a multigenerational family is in "early development" at NBC, which has not commented on the growing controversy.

Twitter: @GeBraxton

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