HBO Max to Honor Dave Chappelle's Request to Remove Chappelle's Show from Streaming Service
HBO Max will no longer stream Chappelle's Show following Dave Chappelle's request that the series be removed from the service.
During Variety's Virtual FYCFest on Tuesday, Chief Content Officer of HBO and HBO Max Casey Bloys announced that the show would be removed at the end of the year due to a "very unique and specific and emotional issue."
"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," Bloys said during a keynote conversation with Daniel Holloway, Variety‘s executive editor of TV. "So at the end of the year, at the end of this year, Dec. 31, we’re going to honor his request and take the show down."
While Bloys said he did not want to go into too much detail about his conversation with Chappelle, he said it was "clear that it's an emotional issue for him."
"If we can do something that makes him feel better about it, then I’d like to do that," he added.
The announcement from HBO Max comes less than one month after Netflix removed the comedy series from its library of content.
In an 18-minute-long stand-up segment posted to Instagram last month, Chappelle, 47, announced that he had reached out to Netflix about having his early aughts comedy series removed — and PEOPLE confirmed that Netflix obliged.
The video, which he captioned "Unforgiven" and was presented in front of an audience, detailed a series of past events that led Chappelle to make the request from Netflix.
The comedian explained that he does not get any compensation when ViacomCBS, which owns Chappelle's Show, licenses the series to streaming platforms like HBO Max or Netflix.
While Chappelle said that "people think I made a lot of money from Chappelle's Show," he alleged that it's the opposite. "When I left that show, I never got paid," he claimed. "They [ViacomCBS] didn't have to pay me because I signed the contract."
He continued: "I found out that these people were streaming my work and they never had to ask me or they never had to tell me," he said. "Perfectly legal because I signed the contract. But is that right?" As the audience yelled out "no!" Chappelle agreed, saying, "I didn't think so either."
In 2003, Chappelle's Show — which Chappelle created, starred in and served on as an executive producer — premiered on Comedy Central, where it aired for three seasons.
Chappelle famously walked away from the series in 2005 due to stress and creative differences, leading Comedy Central to suspend production. Ultimately, three episodes were compiled for the show's final season in 2006.
Fourteen years later, it is still available on various ViacomCBS networks (Comedy Central, CBS All Access) and began streaming on Netflix and HBO Max on Nov. 1.
During his stand-up, the actor also told the audience "another story about HBO" — specifically that "before Chappelle's Show was at Comedy Central" he had "pitched that show to HBO."
"I told them what I wanted to do. Now, these are executives. All they have to do is say, 'yeah, we'll take it' or 'no thank you, we won't.' But they didn't say either of those things. They went too far. They said literally, 'What do we need you for?' That's what they told me as they kicked me out of the office," he alleged.
"And here we are all these years later and they're streaming the very show that I was pitching to them. So I'm asking them: what do you need me for?" said Chappelle.
HBO Max did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment at the time.
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