Viewers and fans of legendary painter Bob Ross are angry after a new Netflix documentary about his life and empire depicted some serious scandals.
The Netflix documentary, which depicts Bob Ross’ personal life and legacy, has highlighted a serious problem: the Kowalski family.
According to reporting on the issue from Men’s Health:
“The documentary, which dives into the inner-workings of Bob Ross’s personal life, has highlighted some of the more complex parts of the landscape artist’s legacy—particularly when it comes to his relationship with the Kowalski family.
While Ross goes unscathed through the feature (save the details of past affairs and the fact that his afro is indeed, permed), it’s the Kowalski family who’s sitting under a damning light by the end. Viewers on social media took note as well.”
Bob Ross Inc. is ran and operated by the Kowalski family to this day, as they were majority owners of the company when the legendary painter passed away in 1995. According to the documentary, the family has been able to keep their control over the intellectual property and branding behind the company through legal pressure, questionable ethics, and full-on bullying.
Ross has always been a popular and beloved figure in American culture, but many of his fans — especially from newer generations — had no idea about the problems behind the scenes of Bob Ross Inc. Now, thanks to the documentary, they know, and many are angry.
The film also suggests that more than a dozen people close to Bob Ross have chosen not to speak publicly against the Kowalski family out of fear of retaliation. Luckily, unlike the people who have been described as scared to speak out, Bob Ross’ fans are not afraid to speak their mind.
the fact that bob ross was on his death bed, begging a corrupt family to not legally steal his name and identity – so that he could leave his legacy behind for his son… and they DID and now if steve even puts HIS last name on anything he can be sued by them?? trash, f*ck BRI
— milk 🐝 (@milkstrology) August 29, 2021
I watched the Bob Ross documentary on Netflix – don’t be scared by the title, it’s not a takedown of Bob Ross, it’s about his unscrupulous business partners taking advantage of him and screwing over his family. Tldr: don’t buy Bob Ross licensed merch. His family gets nothing.
— Tessa Dare (@TessaDare) August 28, 2021
According to the documentary on Netflix, Bob Ross’ likeness/products/name etc are owned by Bob Ross Inc and not a cent is paid to Bob’s family. They are privately owned and have been making millions for themselves.
This was not Bob’s wishes.
— Rahul Kohli (@RahulKohli13) August 27, 2021
Watching the Bob Ross documentary on Netflix and I already want to fight. pic.twitter.com/lRTLHES4nF
— 🌸 I just want to chill and make art 🌸 (@kalapotatoart) August 25, 2021
Bob Ross is It’s about him
trending being exploited pic.twitter.com/wFs16oBIFt
— Jazz (@jarsofjasmine) August 26, 2021