What Secrets Will Netflix Reveal About Bob Ross? Mysterious Teaser Promises an Untold Story

In a 35-second teaser, Netflix promised to reveal more about the elusive painter Bob Ross, who is the subject of the upcoming documentary Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed.

By Cydney Contreras Aug 17, 2021 10:12 PMTags
Watch: 5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Netflix's "The Circle"

Netflix is revealing the dark side of Bob Ross' rise to fame.

Or, at least, that's what we're assuming since the trailer for the upcoming documentary Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed reveals very little about the actual movie. In the teaser released on Tuesday, Aug. 17, ominous music plays over a black-and-white image of the painter, with the title, "We want to show you the trailer... But we can't."

Then, an unidentified man's voice says the words, "I've been wanting to get this story out for all these years."

And that's it. That's the extent of the 35 second teaser to the film, which premieres Aug. 25. 

The doc's log line offers a bit more insight: "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."

Netflix Wedding Shows: Ranked from Least to Most Helpful

According to a May 2021 article in The Daily Beast, Annette and Walt Kowalski, who are the business partners of Bob Ross Inc., went to court this year after Bob Ross' oldest son, Steve, and other friends of the painter accused them of illegally licensing his image to promote products that went beyond the artistic realm.

According to The Daily Beast, the elder Ross originally intended to leave the company to his son Steve, who previously appeared on the PBS series The Joy of Painting. But following his death from lymphoma at age 52 in 1995, the Kowalskis took numerous individuals to court to claim ownership of the company.


The Daily Beast reports that Steve settled his lawsuit with the Kowalskis on an unspecified date, agreeing to give up his claim to Ross' intellectual property in exchange for a confidential sum of money and the ability to paint under the moniker Steve Ross.

It's a messy and complicated story that few are aware of, save for those involved. Now fans of the famously soothing painter are hoping the Netflix doc will excavate the happy little cloud from beneath the black cloud that's fallen on his legacy.

Peacock is live now! Check out NBCU's new streaming service here.