- Dave Chappelle asked Netflix to stop streaming Chappelle’s Show and the company obliged.
- Chappelle says that “if you are f***ing streaming that show you’re fencing stolen goods” because he doesn’t make any money when it is licensed by ViacomCBS.
- Chappelle’s Show is still streaming on CBS All Access and HBO Max for now.
Fans of comedy were pleasantly surprised when Netflix added legendary Comedy Central sketch series Chappelle’s Show to its library at the beginning of the month. Since the show stopped airing, it has been broadcast and streamed on a variety of networks and online platforms, but this was the first time it had ever made its way to the most popular streaming service on the planet. Unfortunately, its tenure on Netflix was short-lived.
Dave Chappelle has always had a complicated relationship with the show, which he walked away from in the middle of production on the third season. ViacomCBS owns the rights to the TV show, and despite the fact that Chappelle’s name is in the title, he doesn’t make any money when the show is licensed out.
Today’s Best Deal
Understandably, this never sat well with the comedian, and as he explained in a video on Instagram on Tuesday, he was disappointed to see the show on Netflix, where he has a massive contract to deliver stand-up specials and more content down the line. As he explains in the video, he called Netflix as soon as he found out the company had started streaming Chappelle’s Show and asked them to take it down. Netflix obliged. The Verge has transcribed the relevant pieces of the Instagram video where Chappelle explains the situation in detail:
People think I made a lot of money from ‘Chappelle’s Show. When I left that show, I never got paid. They didn’t have to pay me because I signed the contract. 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 because I signed the contract. But is that right? I didn’t think so either.
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. And when I found out they were streaming ‘Chappelle’s Show,’ I was furious. 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. That’s why I f*** with Netflix. Because they paid me my money, they do what they say they’re going to do, and they went above and beyond what you could expect from a businessman. They did something just because they thought that I might think that they were wrong.
And I do — I think if you are f***ing streaming that show you’re fencing stolen goods. They stole that from me. They just took it. And I’m not here trying to tell you guys that I believe Comedy Central gave me a raw deal just because I’m black. I believe they gave me a raw deal because this f***ing industry is a monster.
A search on Netflix reveals that the show is now missing. At the time of writing, Chappelle’s Show is still available on CBS All Access and HBO Max. So you can still watch the show online, just not on Netflix.