Comedian Dave Chappelle managed to get his old sketchy comedy program Chappelle’s show removed from Netflix after requesting the streaming service, do so because you started the license without the permission of the original rights owner, ViacomCBS.
The news means Netflix subscribers will no longer have access to the three seasons of the show, which was originally broadcast by Comedy Central. Netflix first made the show available on November 1 and will no longer be discoverable on the platform on Tuesday afternoon. Netflix declined to comment.
Chappelle’s show From 2003 to 2006, it was broadcast on Comedy Central, owned by ViacomCBS, and the program has since been broadcast on syndication agreements on other cable networks for years. It was also available through Comedy Central’s own website and app, but more recently in connection with streaming services, including CBS All Access (also a ViacomCBS feature), HBO Max, and Netflix. Chappelle has a controversial relationship with the program, abruptly discontinuing the program during his third-season production, and despite not having the rights to the program to bear his name.
Netflix, however, has a lucrative deal with Chappelle for comedy specials and other programming that started back in 2016 and is worth tens of millions of dollars. The wrap reports that Chappelle’s ongoing connection to Netflix is why the streaming service decided to fulfill its request and pull its old show off the platform. The show will continue to be available on CBS All Access and HBO Max from Tuesday.
Chappelle first mentioned his frustration with recent licensing agreements Chappelle’s show in his belt Saturday night life monologue at the beginning of the month. The comedian then posted an 18-minute clip of the unreleased standup, “Unforgiven,” on his Instagram account today.
In the clip, Chappelle refers to Netflix, saying, “I called them and told them I was feeling bad about it. And you want to know what they did? They agreed to take them off their platform just to make me feel better. He also called the decision on the stream Chappelle’s show “Fence of stolen goods”.
Here is the section of the Instagram video that starts roughly with the 11-minute signal that applies to the Netflix request:
People say I made a lot of money from the Chappelle’s Show. When I left that show, I never got paid. They didn’t have to pay because I signed the contract. But true? I learned that these people mediate my work and never had to ask me or ever have to tell me. It’s perfectly legal because I signed the contract. But true? I didn’t think so either.
That’s why I love working at Netflix. I love working for Netflix because when all these bad things happened to me, that company didn’t even exist. And when I found out they were broadcasting the Chappelle’s Show, ” I was angry. How could they not know?
So you know what I did? I called them and told them I was feeling bad about it. And you want to know what they did? They agreed to take it off their platform just to make me feel better. That’s why I plug in with Netflix. Because they paid me my money, they do what they say and go beyond what you can expect from a businessman. They did something just because they thought I might think they were wrong.
And yes – I think if you show a fucking streaming that shows you are getting stolen goods. This was stolen from me. They just took it. And I’m not trying to tell you here that I think Comedy Central gave me a raw deal just because I’m black. I think they gave me a raw deal because this fucking industry is a monster.