In some code I wrote recently I wanted to be able to access ALL posts regardless of post_status.
Using bw_get_posts(), I performed the equivalent of running the bw_list shortcode here.
bw_list post_type=olc_promotion post_status=any orderby=meta_value order=DESC meta_key=_end_date numberposts=-1 exclude=-1
On one system I got the results I expected. On another I got nothing.