Netflix scraps upcoming Chris D’Elia, Bryan Callen prank show
A month after Chris D’Elia was accused of sexual impropriety by multiple women, Netflix has confirmed it has decided not to proceed with a prank show featuring the comic.
In June, numerous women came forward on social media — and then in The Times — claiming that the stand-up comedian had acted inappropriately towards them. D’Elia, 40, denied that he had “knowingly” pursued underage females, emphasizing that he’d only engaged in “legal and consensual” relationships.
When the allegations surfaced, D’Elia had only just closed a deal with Netflix to make a show with one of his best friends, fellow comedian Bryan Callen. The nonscripted series was to focus on the relationship between the two comics and their affinity for pulling high jinks, according to sources familiar with the deal. But the show had yet to go into production, and when D’Elia came under fire Netflix scrapped the show, a spokesperson for the streaming network confirmed.
Neither D’Elia’s lawyer nor Callen’s agent immediately responded to requests for comment.
D’Elia still has a number of projects available to stream on Netflix: three of his comedy specials, in addition to the second season of the show “You,” in which he played a sexual predator. He is also set to appear in “Army of the Dead,” a Netflix movie directed by Zack Snyder that was filmed prior to the allegations and is still slated for release in 2021.
Last month, five women — two of whom were not yet 18 when D’Elia apparently suggested they meet up or “make out” — talked to The Times about some of the claims they’d first made about the comic on Twitter. One young woman said that D’Elia told her he would only meet her if she first performed oral sex on his friend; two others alleged that he exposed his erect penis to them.
Since the women came forward, Callen has appeared conflicted about his friendship with D’Elia. The actor, 53, appears on the ABC sitcom “The Goldbergs” and also starred in its spinoff “Schooled,” which was canceled in May. But he is also a comic, and he and D’Elia frequently palled around together, sharing the stage at the Comedy Store and appearing on each other’s podcasts.
On June 18, Callen went on his podcast, “The Fighter and the Kid,” to assert that he’d only known D’Elia as a “ladies man” and had “never seen or heard of him doing anything illegal.”
“And right now I have to believe that, because he’s still a friend,” Callen said. “And it may be unpopular to say that, but I don’t know what else to say. I don’t know what else to do. I just think it’s an impossible situation and I’m just at a loss. I’m praying that what I’m hearing isn’t true.”
He likened the experience to “watching someone die,” and within days, had deleted all photographs with D’Elia from his Instagram account. Callen, who contracted COVID-19 in late June after performing stand-up gigs in San Antonio, has resisted discussing D’Elia at any length since.
As for D’Elia himself — who was fired by his talent representatives at CAA, WME and 3 Arts Entertainment a month ago — he has not recorded any new episodes of his “Congratulations With Chris D’Elia” podcast since issuing his public denial.
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