Thirty years after his the debut of his groundbreaking sitcom “The Cosby Show,” Bill Cosby is reportedly heading back to NBC to star in another family comedy. The new show will feature Cosby as the patriarch of a multigenerational family and feature his take on marriage and child-rearing — two topics that have put the comedian in the hot seat in recent years, according to Deadline.
While “The Cosby Show” is remembered fondly by most audiences, Cosby himself has stirred up controversey by repeatedly chiding black parents and their children. Back in 2008, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote at The Atlantic about the audacity of Cosby’s black conservatisim:
As Cosby sees it, the antidote to racism is not rallies, protests, or pleas, but strong families and communities. Instead of focusing on some abstract notion of equality, he argues, blacks need to cleanse their culture, embrace personal responsibility, and reclaim the traditions that fortified them in the past. Driving Cosby’s tough talk about values and responsibility is a vision starkly different from Martin Luther King’s gauzy, all-inclusive dream: it’s an America of competing powers, and a black America that is no longer content to be the weakest of the lot.
Alyssa Rosenberg argues over at Think Progress that casting Cosby, at 76, shows just how few opportunities there are for younger black actors in Hollywood:
…the idea that there’s no one new left to be discovered and made successful has a particular sting to it when it comes to Cosby. Because the number of black male characters on television are so limited, and even more so black men who have families, bringing Cosby underscores a depressing self-fulfilling assumption in Hollywood: that there are only a very small number of black actors that audiences will resonate to.
No word yet on when the series will air on NBC.