In Viacom's continuing efforts to make itself look pretty clueless and unsympathetic, it has decided to issue a takedown over a previously unseen clip
of the Beastie Boys performing on The Chappelle Show
, which was uploaded to YouTube by Chappelle Show co-creator, Neal Brennan. The episode it was filmed for never aired
as it was supposed to be in Season 3 of the show, which famously (and tragically) never happened because Dave Chappelle decided to walk away from the show.
It's clear that Brennan uploaded the video as a tribute to Adam Yauch/MCA following his death. And that seems like a great gesture -- the kind of thing that Viacom might celebrate. As both of the links above note, the show was never aired, so this clip was just "gathering dust." There has been some talk that Viacom wanted to put together new shows using existing clips -- so I'm guessing that's part of the thinking that went into this (perhaps I'm being generous in assuming any thinking went into this at all).
Either way, it's actions like these that make people distrust and dislike big companies like Viacom even more. Here was an easy way to do something good
. Viacom could have (and probably should have) celebrated this tribute, even to the point of directly calling attention to Brenna's YouTube upload. Instead, it went legal, and comes out looking like an unsympathetic bully.