The immensely popular Comedy Central sketch program Chappelle’s Show has been removed from Netflix less than a month after it was added to the platform, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. The show’s creator, comedian Dave Chappelle (Half Baked, You’ve Got Mail), explained the deletion via a short-form comedy special that goes by the title Unforgiven, which he posted in full on his Instagram.
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Chappelle reveals in the latter half of the video that the alleged breach of his contract that occurred during his premature departure from Chappelle’s Show reportedly meant that he could not claim financial compensation from ViacomCBS for his work on the seminal Comedy Central program. Upon discovering that Netflix had not okayed their decision to put Chappelle’s Show on the site with him personally, he took the initiative to converse with the streamer to have the show omitted from the site’s offerings. “When I found out they were streaming Chappelle’s Show, I was furious… I called them and I told them that this makes me feel bad… They agreed that they would take it off the platform, just so I could feel better,” he admitted to the audience.
Chappelle referenced Netflix’s acquisition of the Chappelle’s Show streaming rights the week the show arrived on the platform. In a quarter-hour-long monologue during his November 7 episode of Saturday Night Live, Chappelle began by recounting the legacy of positivity that characterized the life of his great-grandfather, a former slave, and then joked about his own contributions to that legacy: “Netflix started streaming a show that bears his name… and HBO Max is streaming it… and I didn’t get paid for any of it. If he could see me now, he’d probably be like, ‘This [expletive] got bought and sold more than I have.’ ”
Towards the end of Unforgiven, Chappelle engaged in an impassioned plea to his fans to not watch his old sketch show until his contract is renegotiated in a way he deems is just. “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 Chappelle’s Show. Do not watch it unless [ViacomCBS] pays me,” Chappelle insisted.
Chappelle reportedly made a podcast debut on November 19 on The Joe Rogan Experience as an additional guest during Rogan’s interview with Chappelle’s Show actor Donnell Rawlings (The Wire, Percentage), Complex reports. Rogan had made appearances as himself twice on Chappelle’s Show.