The new documentary Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed dropped this week on Netflix and boy was it disheartening.
It provides a rare behind-the-scenes look at Bob and his family life, the legal troubles his son, Steve Ross, and friends faced against Annette and Walter Kowalski who own the majority share of Bob's name and legacy as Bob Ross Inc., and details the slimy ways in which the Kowalski's obtained those rights, including but not limited to them trying to prevent Bob's death from going public so they can continue to profit off of his name.
It was produced in part by Melissa McCarthy and
On the challenge of making a film while being worried about a lawsuit:Bob Ross Inc. released a statement after the documentary was dropped, claiming they "weren't consulted" despite production reaching out several times and providing them several opportunities to give their side:
Falcone: That was why so many people didn't want to speak to the filmmakers. Everyone's afraid of getting sued. So, it's definitely challenging. ... Even as we're having this discussion with you now, we've been kind of warned to keep to the basics, try not to get too into it because we will get sued.
If not for the efforts of the remaining founders and their dedication to this mission, Bob’s artistic and cultural relevance would have been lost decades ago with his passing. https://t.co/KuVRV9VTeP— Bob Ross Official (@BobRossOfficial) August 25, 2021
Yooooooooo. Y’all need to delete this painfully disgusting attempt to save face faster than Bob could paint a landscape. A corporation taking full credit for the enduring impact of an icon? #BobRossOfficialMyAss— Simon Bingham (@massivesigh) August 26, 2021
Cut the son out of his inheritance and stop him using his own name but turn a pretty penny...— Dan - Cosplayer #3 on sale soon! (@Baresark_Artist) August 26, 2021
I think you guys may see a staggering drop in sales.
I'd LOVE to know what your damage control is right now. pic.twitter.com/4IXqaZuhzK
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In a time when people have been more desperate for feel-good entertainment than ever before and rely on watching Bob Ross Inc.'s YT channel for comfort, it's extremely disappointing to find all of this out. I've unsubscribed and reported all their handles as fake accounts. These fools can't sue anymore if they have no $$$!