Chappelle’s Show is coming back to Netflix today.
In November of last year, comedian Dave Chappelle called on his fans to boycott his own show because he never got paid when the show began streaming on various platforms. Now, months after the Emmy-nominated series was pulled from Netflix and HBO Max, fans will see Chappelle’s Show returning to Netflix by the end of the day because executives addressed the issue and paid the comedian what he felt he was owed.
From what I can gather, the payment issue originated when Chappelle walked away from his show at the height of its popularity in the early 2000s. “They didn’t have to pay me because I signed the contract,” he said in November, referring to royalties from streaming. “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.” So Chappelle acknowledges that he was legally not owed anything, but was morally owed millions of dollars – and while that line of thinking almost never works when dealing with corporations, it actually worked in this instance.
Chappelle shared a video of one of his recent comedy shows on Instagram, explaining what happened after calling for that boycott.
“I never asked Comedy Central for anything,” Chappelle told his audience in the video. “If you remember, I said, ‘I’m going to my real boss,’ and I came to you, because I know where my power lies. I asked you to stop watching the show, and thank God almighty for you, you did. You made that show worthless, because without your eyes, it’s nothing. And when you stopped watching it, they called me and I got my name back. I got my license back. I got my show back, and they paid me millions of dollars. Thank you very much.”
“I want to thank Ted Sarandos at Netflix, the CEO who had the courage to take my show off its platform and financial detriment to his company just because I asked him. And I want to thank Chris McCarthy of CBS Viacom. This guy is younger than me, and like most people younger than me, has an interest in making the past right. And did something that was very courageous and finally, after all these years, I can finally say: Comedy Central, it’s been a pleasure doing business with you.”
The video ends with text that reads, “Chappelle’s Show. Netflix. February 12.” As of this writing, the show has not yet been re-added to Netflix’s library.
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