Comedian Dave Chappelle has made a meal out of how he left his own hit show years ago because of how he was being treated. As a result, he’s back working after signing a $20 million dollar per special deal with Netflix, which has resulted in 6 comedy specials. Throwing his clout with the streamer around, he’s pulled the plug on his old employers in a serious flex move.
Netflix continues to find itself embroiled in fights it would probably rather avoid but their “embrace” of Black content and its creators has given them an incredible presence in the Black entertainment niche. With the addition of such classic Black sitcoms like Moesha, Girlfriends and The Parkers, they’re find themselves balancing their activism with the very real divide in diverse content and how its creators are treated.
Despite the perception of being blackballed, a judge recently ruled that comedian Mo’Nique’s discrimination lawsuit against Netflix can move forward, a major win for the actress and many others potentially.
Mo’Nique had claimed Netflix discriminated against her on the basis of her race and gender when they offered to pay her $500,000 in 2018 for a comedy special, a fraction of the tens of millions of dollars Netflix paid for specials from other comedians including Amy Schumer, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle. Mo’Nique further alleges Netflix retaliated against her when she complained about the “discriminatory low-ball offer” by refusing to negotiate fair pay with her.
Now, Chappelle finds himself at odds with his new business partner after his old business partners once again used his content without consulting him – whether they were rightly entitled to it legally or not.
Much like Mo’Nique is in a case against Netflix while they added her old series The Parkers, the same happened to Chappelle recently when Netflix added The Chappelle Show to its library earlier this month. Though the show bears Chappelle’s name, he infamously doesn’t benefit it since he left the storied production before the end of its run.
He’s called out ViacomCBS for their treatment of him previously and once again found himself in the position of having to bring attention to the fact that despite the fact it’s his show, it really isn’t. Only this time, he was able to actually do something about it – having Netflix remove the show immediately.
“That’s why I like working for Netflix. I like working for Netflix because when all those bad things happened to me, that company didn’t even exist. And when I found out they were streaming Chappelle’s Show, I was furious,” Chappelle said in an 18-minute video posted to his Instagram account – ultimately calling for fans to boycott ‘The Chappelle Show.”
“So, you know what I did? I called them and I told them that this makes me feel bad. 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 f*ck 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 f*cking streaming that show you’re fencing stolen goods.”
See the full video below.