“I’ve been wanting to get this story out for all these years,” a disembodied voice says in the first trailer for the Netflix documentary Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed
Bob Ross has been a beloved figure in pop culture for generations.
But a newly-released first trailer for Netflix’s upcoming documentary Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed hints at a dark untold secret from the late painter’s life. “We want to show you the trailer for Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed but we can’t,” text reads over a black-and-white photo of Ross. “Find out why on August 25.”
The trailer doesn’t include any other photos or footage of Ross or anyone else featured in the documentary, except for a voiceover at the end of the 35-second clip. “I’ve been wanting to get this story out for all these years,” a voice resembling Ross says.
Although the trailer doesn’t offer any other clues, Netflix’s description of the documentary reads: “Bob Ross brought joy to millions as the world’s most famous art instructor. But a battle for his business empire cast a shadow over his happy trees.”
The documentary will likely explore the fate of Bob Ross, Inc., which is now run by the daughter of Annette and Walt Kowalski, Ross’ former business partners, according to The Daily Beast. Although Ross left the rights to his name and likeness to his son Steve and half-brother Jimmie Cox, the Kowalskis argued that everything Ross did in his career was work-for-hire, and he had no right to bequeath that. The Kowalskis eventually won the lawsuit.
Bob Ross was best known as the host and creator of The Joy of Painting, which ran from 1983 to 1994 on PBS, using his soothing voice to teach viewers how to paint landscapes with “happy trees.” The artist died of complications from lymphoma on July 4, 1995. He was 52.
The world’s most famous art instructor has lived on as a pop culture icon, recently experiencing a resurgence with Gen Z, thanks to references in a Deadpool 2 teaser and HBO’s Euphoria, as well as the internet’s obsession with ASMR.