When the name of your TV show is the “Chappelle Show”, and it was created around your creative control and energy and has your name and identity attached to it and suddenly if you want to continue making your own show you have to give up your creative freedom for money I consider that some a form of losing freedom. Whether or not you want to call that “slavery” or not is up to you, but I consider giving up creative control for money a form of slavery, just as I consider wage slavery its own form of slavery.
Unless you’re getting equity, and ownership of what you’re working on then you’re not an owner.
Dave wasn’t getting shares in Viacom, or more creative control, and they were trying to use money to both limit his creative freedom, and lock him into exclusivity with them so he couldn’t work with anyone else. They were essentially buying his identity and entire act and taking control of what topics he could approach in the future and preventing him from doing standup the way he wanted to in addition to controlling his show.
It wasn’t a good deal.