Last night, Dave Chappelle took to what has become his platform of choice for making big announcements: Instagram and gave an update on his feud with Viacom over the streaming rights to Chappelle’s Show. Similar to the video he made last year, he filmed the clip in front of a live audience at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin, TX where he’d been performing a series of residencies at the venue with comedian friends (which were briefly halted after contracting COVID-19).
Here’s a quick refresher, last November, Chappelle opened up onstage about his grievances with Netflix securing the streaming rights to Chappelle’s Show from Viacom/HBO Max, and how he wasn’t making a cent off of it due to the contract he signed with Comedy Central long ago. He stated that, when he approached Netflix about this they were immediate in taking the show down off the platform, given their working relationship with the comedian. HBO Max and Viacom were not as quick, so Chappelle asked his audience bluntly, not to watch the show until he could get paid.
Well, late last night Chappelle unveiled a new video giving an update. Chappelle began the clip, “Redemption Song” with an update on his battle with COVID then framed his statement about power based on the events of the January 6th raid on the U.S. Capital Building going as far to pose the statement, “Who’s the terrorist now? It’s not my Black Muslim ass… It’s you!” Afterward, he shared news that Chappelle’s Show is returning to Netflix. Taking the conversation right into where he knows his power lies, with his fans, and how he was didn’t have to do what his colleagues do so often and just take it.
“I asked you to stop watching the show and thank God almighty for you, you did,” Chappelle said. “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.”
He applauded Netflix 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 thanks Viacom’s Chris McCarthy for “Making the past right.” Whether the compensation came from Viacom or Netflix directly wasn’t made clear.
He also touched on the peers who “laughed” at him, stating “Well, you signed a contract.” He replied “Here’s the thing. I’m very good at minding my own business. And the trick to minding your own business is knowing what is your business.”
Finally, he ended by saying “After all these years, I can finally say to Comedy Central, ‘It’s been a pleasure doing business with you.'” He closed out the clip with a two minute montage of some of the greatest Chappelle’s Show moments. Ending the night with a “cheers to you forever,” to his fans, before comedian Donnell Rawlings took the stage dropping his signature Chappelle’s Show line.