Last month, actor/comedian Dave Chappelle hosted NBC's Saturday Night Live and called out a number of streaming services for running his classic Comedy Central series Chappelle's Show without any kind of monetary compensation. At the time, the show was streaming on Netflix, CBS All Access, HBO Max, and Comedy Central. Netflix would go on to take down the series and no longer air it– because Chappelle asked them to. "People think I made a lot of money from 'Chappelle's Show,'" he explained. "When I left that show I never got paid. They didn't have to pay me because I signed the contract. 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."
Now you can add HBO Max's name next to Netflix's, with HBO and HBO Max Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys revealing that Chappelle's Show will be taken down from the streaming service at the end of the year. And much like the case with Netflix, it sounds like it came down to a phone call and a conversation. "We had a conversation with Dave. I won't get into it, but it's very clear that it's a very unique and specific and emotional issue he's got," Bloys explained during his interview with Variety's executive editor of TV, Daniel Holloway. "So at the end of the year, at the end of this year, December 31st, we're going to honor his request and take the show down."
In a video of a stand-up set posted last month, Chappelle went into detail about his deal with ViacomCBS that allowed the series to be syndicated without him seeing a dime. Having worked with Netflix for the past four years, Chappelle was understandably more than a bit bothered (super understatement there) by the streaming service airing his show- and he was going to let them know about it. "And when I found out they were streaming Chappelle's Show, I was furious. How could they not know? So you know what I did? I called them and I told them that this makes me feel bad," Chappelle revealed. "And you want to know what they did? They agreed that they would take it off their platform just so I could feel better. That's why I fuck with Netflix. Because they paid me my money, they do what they say they're going to 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 that if you are fucking streaming that show you're fencing stolen goods." Here's a look at the video from Chappelle's routine:
Here's a look back to Chappelle's opening monologue from the post-election night edition of SNL, where he first brought his issue with Chappelle's Show and streaming rights to light: