Dave Chappelle asked Netflix to remove Chappelle's Show from their streaming service over money concerns. The streaming service immediately fulfilled Chappelle's request and the hit series is no longer available to subscribers. The comedian has spent years explaining his side of the story when working with Comedy Central and Viacom CBS over 15 years ago. Chappelle created a new kind of sketch comedy series that pushed the envelope and influenced a generation of up and coming comedians, but he reportedly was never compensated after leaving the show.
Dave Chappelle says he never received any money from Viacom CBS after he left the series. Making things worse, it was just revealed that Netflix, HBO Max, and CBS All Access are all streaming the first two seasons of Chappelle's Show and the Lost Episodes from season 3, except for one episode featuring Ron Jeremy. Chappelle claimed that he was not getting paid for the new streaming deals during his recent Saturday Night Live monologue. In a new video posted on social media, Chappelle went deeper into the story. He had this to say.
"People think I made a lot of money from Chappelle's Show. 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. That's why I like working for Netflix."
While Dave Chappelle is not happy about Viacom CBS selling his show to different streaming platforms and not compensating him, he is very happy with his relationship with Netflix. The comedian has done multiple stand-up specials for the streaming service over the years and it seems that relationship will continue well into the future now. Chappelle had this to say about Netflix taking down Chappelle's Show at his request.
"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*** 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."
As for Chappelle's Show streaming on HBO Max and CBS All Access, it doesn't look like that will stop any time soon. In the conclusion of his video, Dave Chappelle let the aforementioned streaming platforms know how he feels. "I think that if you are f***ing streaming that show you're fencing stolen goods." Viacom CBS has not yet responded to Chappelle's claims publicly. It's also unclear if they plan on renegotiating a deal with the comedian for future streaming royalties.
The world of streaming is still in its infancy, and the entertainment industry is trying to figure out how to get people properly compensated for their work. The vast majority of TV and movie deals were all written up well before the emergence of streaming, which leaves people like Dave Chappelle out of luck when it comes to getting some money when a new streaming service picks up his show. You can check out the video above, thanks to Dave Chappelle's Instagram account.