Following a successful bid to have Chappelle’s Show pulled from Netflix, Dave Chappelle has also gotten HBO Max to agree to pull the series from its streaming platform. During a virtual conversation with Variety, HBO and HBO Max chief content officer Casey Bloys revealed that the company will remove Chappelle’s Show, per Chappelle’s request, on December 31. “We had a conversation with Dave. I won’t get into it, but it’s very clear that it’s a very unique and specific and emotional issue he’s got,” said Bloys. “So at the end of the year, at the end of this year, December 31, we’re going to honor his request and take the show down.”
That specific issue Bloys is referring to is likely the one explained by Chappelle himself in a video posted to his Instagram titled “Unforgiven.” In the video, Chappelle details instances in which he wasn’t compensated fairly for his work—specifically calling out a contract he signed with ViacomCBS, which has allowed the company to license Chappelle’s Show to streaming services without compensating Chappelle. The comic also notes that, despite being aware of this particular grievance, Netflix went ahead and licensed the series, which made him “furious.” Chappelle reached out to personally request that his series be removed from the streaming platform, and Netflix complied; that approach has now also paid off with HBO Max, which has agreed to Chappelle’s request to pull the series.
Chappelle also checks HBO in “Unforgiven,” explaining how he approached the network to pitch his series before going to Comedy Central. “They said, literally, ‘What do we need you for?’ That’s what they told me as they kicked me out of the office, ‘What do we need you for?’” Chappelle says. “And here we are all these years later and they’re streaming the very show I was pitching to them. So I’m asking them, what do you need me for?”