Dave Chappelle calls for 'Chappelle's Show' boycott; Netflix removes sketch series
Dave Chappelle’s comedy sketch series "Chappelle’s Show" is no longer on Netflix.
Chappelle revealed in a lengthy Instagram video Tuesday that he requested for his popular series to be removed from the streaming platform because he "never got paid" by ViacomCBS after walking away over creative differences in 2005.
"If you are (expletive) streaming that show, you are fencing stolen goods," Chappelle said in the 18-minute video titled, "Unforgiven." "They stole that (show) from me, they just took it."
"Chappelle's Show," which originally premiered on Comedy Central in 2003, began streaming on Netflix on Nov. 1. HBO Max also acquired the streaming rights to the comedy sketch series, where it is still available to stream.
"I found out these people were streaming my work and never had to ask me or they never had to tell me," Chappelle continued. "Perfectly legal because I signed the contract, but is that right? I didn’t think so."
The comedian said he voiced his frustrations to Netflix, telling executives that it "makes me feel bad." Chappelle signed a deal with Netflix in 2016 for five stand-up specials that have been released on the platform, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
"(Netflix) agreed that they would take it off their platform just so I could feel better," Chapelle said. "That’s why I (expletive) with Netflix because they pay me my money, they do what they say they are going to do and they went above and beyond what you could expect from a businessman."
The comedian famously walked away from "Chappelle's Show," and its $50 million payday, at the height of the program's success in 2005, escaping to South Africa and spending the next 12 years away from TV. His Netflix deal marked a major return for the once-reclusive star.
On Tuesday, Chappelle pleaded with his fans to "Boycott "Chappelle’s Show.' "
“People think I made a lot of money from 'Chappelle’s Show.' When I left that show, I never got paid. (ViacomCBS) didn’t have to pay me because I signed the contract," he said.
Chappelle continued: "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. I’m not asking you to boycott any network – boycott me. Boycott 'Chappelle’s Show.' Do not watch it unless they pay me."
Netflix declined to comment.
Contributing: Maeve McDermott
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