Dave Chappelle Settles ViacomCBS Fight as ‘Chappelle’s Show’ Returns to Netflix: ‘They Paid Me Millions’

Chappelle thanked his fans for not streaming "Chappelle's Show" while he fought ViacomCBS to be paid.
FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2018 file photo, Dave Chappelle poses in the press room with the best comedy album award for "The Age of Spin" and "Deep in the Heart of Texas" at the 60th annual Grammy Awards in New York. Chappelle celebrated George Floyd’s life and ripped the media for the way it handled his death in a surprise Netflix special. The special was released Thursday and is streaming free on Netflix’s comedy YouTube channel.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
Dave Chappelle
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

In a 10-minute stand-up set posted to Instagram titled “Redemption Song” (watch the video in the embed below), comedian Dave Chappelle confirmed “Chappelle’s Show” is returning to stream on Netflix as of Friday, February 12. The comedian has settled his fight with Comedy Central parent comedy ViacomCBS over a streaming license for the iconic sketch comedy series, which ran for three seasons on Comedy Central between 2003 and 2006. Chappelle pulled his show off Netflix in November and released a statement slamming ViacomCBS for licensing “Chappelle’s Show” to Netflix without paying him.

“People think I made a lot of money from ‘Chappelle’s Show,’” Chappelle said at the time. “When I left that show I never got paid. [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 because I signed the contract. But is that right? I didn’t think so either.”

The comedian urged his fans to boycott his show on streaming platforms. “I’m coming to you. I’m begging you — if you ever liked me, if you ever think there was anything worthwhile about me, I’m begging you, please don’t watch that show,” Chappelle said. “I’m not asking you to boycott any network — boycott me. Boycott ‘Chappelle’s Show.’ Do not watch it unless they pay me.”

Less than a month afterwards, Chappelle pulled the series off HBO Max for similar reasons. Now it appears Chappelle has settled his fight with ViacomCBS as the show returns to streaming. In “Redemption Song,” Chappelle thanks Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos for his “courage” in allowing the show to be removed from the platform in November and Chris McCarthy of ViacomCBS for “making the past right.”

“I never asked Comedy Central for anything,” Chappelle says in the new video. “If you remember I said, ‘I’m going to my real boss,’ and I came to you because I know where my power lies. I asked you to stop watching the show and thank God almighty for you, you did. You made that show worthless because without your eyes, it’s nothing. 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.”

Watch “Redemption Song” in its entirety in the video below. “Chappelle’s Show” is now streaming on Netflix.


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