Chappelle’s Show is probably one of the most valuable shows in ViacomCBS’ content library and so when Netflix announced they would be bringing it to the platform on Nov. 1, fans were elated. But after a request from Dave Chappelle, who worked as co-creator, executive producer, the streaming platform pulled the show.
The show is also available to stream on HBO Max and CBS All Access, but Casey Bloys, Chief Content Officer for HBO and HBO Max, told Variety during their Virtual FYCFest, that HBO Max will be following suit:
“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…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,” said Bloys.
Chappelle famously walked away from a $50 million deal with Comedy Central (under Viacom) back in the early 2000s. It turns out, when he decided to cut ties with the company, he was also cutting ties with any rights he had over the eponymous show. “When I left that show I never got paid. They (ViacomCBS) 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?,” he stated in a video posted to Instagram titled, “Unforgiven”.
ViacomCBS’ deals with Netflix and HBO Max are part of the company’s strategy to monetize on library content. They also signed another non-exclusive agreement to bring Reno 911, Inside Amy Schumer, Key & Peele as well as Nathan For You, to HBO Max.