If you recently realized that Dave Chappelle’s Comedy Central series Chappelle’s Show was missing from your queue, we now know the reason why. It’s because Chappelle doesn’t want you watching it.
The legendary comedy dropped a surprise clip from a recent stand-up on Instagram today where he recounted some dirty deals he’d been the victim of during his long career and apparently ViacomCBS is one of the main villains. The parent company owns Comedy Central, thus owning Chappelle’s Show, and they licensed out the series to Netflix earlier this month. While Netflix paid for the rights to stream the show, it was Viacom’s job to compensate Chappelle, something the company failed to do.
“People think I made a lot of money from Chappelle’s Show,” Chappelle says in the video he posted to his social media account. “When I left that show I never got paid. They (ViacomCBS) 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 ‘cause I signed the contract. But is that right? I didn’t think so either.”
After relaying a story about signing a contract with ViacomCBS early in his career, he went on to call out Comedy Central for licensing his work to multiple streamers, including HBO Max and CBS All Access, before revealing why Netflix — a streamer that has dropped a handful of Chappelle comedy specials over the years — pulled the series from their lineup.
“That’s why I like working for Netflix,” Chappelle went on. “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– 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*ck 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 that if you are f*cking streaming that show you’re fencing stolen goods.”
Chappelle ended the set by making an impassioned plea to fans regarding his past work.
“I’m begging you, please don’t watch that show,” he said. “I’m not asking you to boycott any network — boycott me. Boycott Chappelle’s Show. Do not watch it unless they pay me.”
You can watch the full video below: