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Netflix’s Bob Ross documentary will explore the dark side of his legacy

Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed will tell the ‘shockingly untold story’ of the cult painter’s empire

When Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting first hit screens in 1983, no-one could have predicted the cultural phenomenon that would follow. The cult painter, who died 26 years ago, was a Chia Head of curly hair and positivity. His zen approach to painting calmed and delighted a generation of viewers, with phrases like, “the joy of painting is the friends you make along the way” and ”there’s no mistakes, only happy accidents”.

Now, Netflix is releasing a documentary that will explore the “shockingly untold story” of Bob Ross’ business empire, “a sinister tale surrounding his name and the empire that was built on it being hijacked by once trusted partners, whose slow betrayal of him continued beyond his death in 1995”.

Directed by Joshua Rofé, Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed will delve into Ross’s life and chronicle the legal actions taken by his business partners Annette and Walt Kowalski that aimed to control the Bob Ross brand in perpetuity.

“With a keen appreciation for nature, and a kind and gentle demeanor, Bob Ross encouraged everyone he met to embrace their creativity and believe in themselves, becoming a cultural phenomenon along the way,” a press release read.

“The man who famously said that there were no mistakes – just happy accidents – has brought sheer delight to the world for decades. Beyond the iconic hair, soothing voice and nostalgic paintings lies a mystery that many have yet to discover.”

Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed is out August 25 via Netflix.