Dave Chappelle asked, and so he received. For those puzzled as to why they’re no longer able to view the comedian’s popular comedy sketch series “Chappelle’s Show” on Netflix, it’s because the streaming giant removed it following Chappelle’s request.
In a nearly 18-minute-long clip titled “Unforgiven,” posted to the 47-year-old’s Instagram page on Tuesday, Nov. 24, Chappelle claimed that he was never paid after leaving the ViacomCBS show. The “Half Baked” star abruptly left the series during production prior to its season-three premiere, which was scheduled to begin airing on May 31, 2005.
“They [ViacomCBS] didn’t have to pay me because I signed the contract,” the comedian revealed in the clip from a recent stand-up gig. “But is that right? I found out that these people were streaming my work, and they never had to ask me, or they never have to tell me. Perfectly legal ‘cause I signed the contract. But is that right? I didn’t think so either.”
Chappelle said that after failing to find a resolution on how he would get paid for his show, he decided to take matters into his own hands and not go to his agents but instead go to his “real boss,” his fans.
“I’m begging you. If you ever liked me, if you ever think there was anything worthwhile about me. I’m begging you. Please don’t watch that show.” He added, “I’m not asking you to boycott any network. Boycott me. Boycott ‘Chappelle’s show.’ Do not watch it unless they pay me.”
Chappelle later applauded the streaming provider for honoring his request and making him “feel better.” “That’s why I like working for Netflix. I like working for Netflix because when all those bad things happened to me, that company didn’t even exist,” Chappelle said. He added, “And when I found out they were streaming ‘Chappelle’s Show,’ I was furious. How could they not — how could they not know? So you know what I did? I called them, and I told them that this makes me feel bad. And you want to know what they did? They agreed that they would take it off their platform just so I could feel better.”
Chappelle revealed that around the time he agreed to appear on the Nov. 7 episode of “Saturday Night Live,” it was announced that his sketch comedy show would be streaming not only on Netflix but on HBO Max as well. Ironically, the comedian said when he was initially pitching his show to networks, HBO rejected him, claiming they told him, “what do we need you for.”
During his “SNL” monologue, Chappelle referenced the sticky situation saying that the show bared his great-grandfather’s name, yet he didn’t get paid for that.
“If he could see me now, he’d probably be like, ‘This n—a got bought and sold more than I have,’ ” Chappelle quipped.