Comedian Dave Chappelle had a big mic drop moment on Tuesday, November 24, when he posted an 18-minute stand-up segment called "Unforgiven" about Netflix removing Chappelle’s Show from the platform.
Chappelle's Show was an early 2000s comedy show, which the comedian claimed he wasn’t paid for after he left because of the contract he signed. He then exited the show in 2005.
"I signed the contract the way a 28-year-old expecting father that was broke signs a contract. I was desperate, I needed a way out and it wasn't good money, it wasn't good circumstances. 'But what else am I gonna do?' I said. And all these white people sitting at that table told me, 'Trust us, Dave, it's a good contract.' And I looked around the table, and they all seemed to agree it was a good contract," he said.
Fourteen years later, the show still streams on Comedy Central, and other ViacomCBS networks, such as CBS All Access, and was then picked up by HBO Max and Netflix before the latter dropped it at Chappelle’s request.
"People think I made a lot of money from Chappelle's Show," he said. "I found out that these people were streaming my work and they never had to ask me or they never had to tell me. Perfectly legal because I signed the contract."
"But is that right?" he asked the audience, who shouted "no" in response.
The comedian also alleged that HBO initially declined the show when he pitched it at the time.
The 47-year-old likes 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?"
"I called them and I told them that this makes me feel bad. And do you want to know what they did? They agreed that they would take it off their platform just so I could feel better," he said.
"Because they paid me my money, they do what they say they're gonna 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**king streaming that show, you're fencing stolen goods. They stole that from me. They just took it," he added.
"And I'm not up here trying to tell you guys that I believe that Comedy Central gave me a raw deal just because I'm Black. I believe that they gave me a raw deal because this f**king industry is a monster! It's the same monster that these Me Too b***hes was trying to tell you about."
Chappelle urged his fans not to watch Chappelle’s Show on any of the platforms it’s still streaming on. "I'm not asking you to boycott any network. Boycott me. Boycott Chappelle's Show. Do not watch it unless they pay me."
In the meantime, Chappelle is determined to get some money from the whole ordeal.
"So I'll tell you what I'm talking about: go downstairs to your accounting department, open the books, see what that show made, and look at what you paid me," he said during the set. "That's exactly what I'm talking about. You're going to pay me. I am inviting you to come with me and work with me and let's fight against that terrible, terrible feeling that you made me feel together. We can fight together and work this thing with Chappelle Show out. Or, or, I can just take it. Thank you."
ViacomCBS and HBO have yet to comment on the matter.