Fans of Dave Chappelle‘s Comedy Central series Chappelle’s Show will be surprised if they go to watch the stand-up comedian’s sketch show on Netflix tonight. Why? Because Chappelle’s Show has been removed from the streaming platform. The comedy series was released on both Netflix (and HBO Max) on November 1 — a huge move for the comedian who has had a multi-special deal with the streamer for years. Chappelle even mentioned this big release event during his opening monologue while hosting the most recent episode of Saturday Night Live.
But things have taken a turn in the weeks since Chappelle’s Show hit Netflix and HBO Max. On Tuesday, Chappelle uploaded a video to his Instagram titled “Unforgiven.” The 18-minute video appears to have been shot during a recent set of Chappelle’s. Over the course of 18 minutes, Chappelle confirms he is the one who initiated the move to have Chappelle’s Show removed from Netflix. He tied the show’s removal from Netflix to ongoing issues with ViacomCBS and Comedy Central, who he claims did not pay him as part of the show’s licensing contract.
In the video, Chappelle outlines his history of clashes with Viacom and why he left Chappelle’s Show in 2005, saying, “If you are streaming that show, you are fencing stolen goods. They stole that (show) from me, they just took it,” later going on to say, “I found out these people were streaming my work and never had to ask me or they never had to tell me. Perfectly legal because I signed the contract, but is that right? I didn’t think so.”
Chappelle then offered thanks to Netflix for honoring his request to have the show removed, sharing with the audience, “(Netflix) agreed that they would take it off their platform just so I could feel better. That’s why I [work] 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 veteran stand-up made an appeal to his audience in an effort to drive home his pain and disappointment with his treatment at the hands of Viacom: “So I’m not going to the agents, I’m coming to my real boss — I’m coming to you. 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.”
Chappelle’s Show is still available to stream Comedy Central and CBS All Access, both ViacomCBS outlets, as well as HBO Max. Get even more HBO Max updates here.