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In an Instagram clip posted Thursday, Chappelle revealed that the Comedy Central show he created and acrimoniously left returned to the streaming platform Feb. 12, just over two months after it was pulled at his request.
In the clip, which looks to be from the comedian’s recent tour of Austin, Chappelle provides background on what led to Netflix pulling Chappelle’s Show back in late November. Speaking about the recent insurrection in Washington, D.C., Chappelle pivots to people needing to know “where their power lies.” He summarized his dispute with Comedy Central and his demands that they pay him for any deals related to Chappelle’s Show and then explained, “I know where my power lies.”
“I asked you to stop watching the show and thank God almighty for you, you did,” Chappelle said about his fans. “You made that show worthless because without your eyes it’s nothing.”
He added: “And when you stopped watching it, they called me. And I got my name back and I got my license back and I got my show back and they paid me millions of dollars. Thank you very much.”
Chappelle then thanked Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos for having “the courage to take show off its platform at a financial detriment to his company, just because I asked him to.” He also thanked Chris McCarthy of ViacomCBS for “making the past right” by completing the deal.
He ended the clip by saying, “after all these years, I can finally say to Comedy Central, ‘It’s been a pleasure doing business with you.'”
Chappelle’s Show had been streaming on Netflix in the U.S. from Nov. 1. In an 18-minute video of his stand-up released Nov. 24, the comedian talked about the “terrible” contract he signed at the outset of Chappelle’s Show, which ran from 2003-06 on Comedy Central. “People think I made a lot of money from Chappelle’s Show,” he said. “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 because I signed the contract. But is that right? I didn’t think so, either.”
He revealed that he had asked Netflix to pull the show, which it subsequently did.
Chappelle’s Show was a breakout for Comedy Central and the comedian. After signing a reported $50 million deal ahead of the show’s third season, Chappelle quit the series, citing the stress of producing the show and his increasing discomfort with the material in its sketches.
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