Comedian Dave Chappelle is urging people to boycott old episodes of his Comedy Central show, alleging that Hollywood executives have yet to pay him what he is owed on the popular but short-lived 2003 sketch series.
“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 in an Instagram video posted this week.
“I’m not asking you to boycott any network. Boycott me. Boycott Chappelle’s Show. Do not watch it, unless they pay me.”
Dave Chappelle said in the Instagram clip that he successfully lobbied Netflix to pull Chappelle’s Show from its platform. But the series is still available to stream on HBO Max and has also been shown on Comedy Central’s Pluto TV channel. Fans can also purchase digital copies of the series on various platforms, such as Amazon Prime Video.
In his Instagram video, which is a nearly 20-minute clip from a recent stand-up routine, Chappelle alleges that he doesn’t receive any additional money for the work he did on the series even though Hollywood media companies continue to profit off of it. The comedian blames the contract he signed before he quit the series after two seasons.
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“I signed the contract the way a 28-year-old expectant father that was broke signs a contract,” he says in the Instagram video. “I was desperate. I needed a way out. And it wasn’t good money and it wasn’t good circumstances but, ‘what else am I gonna do?’ I said.”
Chappelle has complimentary words for Netflix, which he said agreed to yank the show from its platform after he complained. ”
But he openly criticized ViacomCBS, which owns Comedy Central, saying that his original contract was a “raw” deal. If you’re streaming that show, “you’re fencing stolen goods,” the comedian said.
He concluded by inviting ViacomCBS executives to work with him to resolve the dispute. “Or,” he said,”I can just take it.”