Assault with deadly weapon charges has been filed against Dave Chappelle.
Dave Chappelle Attacker Charged With Assault with A Deadly Weapon || Read. The man who attacked comedian Dave Chappelle onstage during the “Netflix is a Joke” Festival has been arrested by Los Angeles police.
After the LAPD allege that Isaiah Lee, 23, went on stage at the Hollywood Bowl, pointed an imitation handgun with a knife blade attached, and tackled Chappelle, he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon. A probable motive is still being investigated by police.
Audience members who slipped cell phones into the stadium videotaped the attack. One eyewitness told NPR that the comedian had sarcastically mentioned his beefed-up security during his standup routine before the event.
Others pointed out that Chappelle mentioned the recent Oscars incident in which Best Actor winner Will Smith struck host Chris Rock over a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences examined the incident and barred Smith from attending any of its events for the next ten years, whether virtually or in person.
According to reports, both Smith’s and Rock’s actions struck a chord with Chappelle.
Some audience members also shared videos of Chappelle later being joined on stage by actor Jamie Foxx and comedian Chris Rock, who was also performing at the festival. “Was Will Smith there?” As the audience chuckled, Rock inquired.
Chappelle appeared unharmed, and his assailant was said to be a “trans man.” He remarked earlier in the set that he felt targeted by transgender persons who called his previous work transphobic.
Last October, for example, Chappelle joked about trans people and their genitalia in his Netflix special “The Closer.”
An eyewitness told NPR that Chappelle and security officers chased the man backstage shortly after the incident. He allegedly called his assailant when he returned “I’ve been doing this for 35 years,” she claimed. I just stomped a [n-word] backstage, which is something I’ve always wanted to do.”
The LAPD did not provide many specifics about the suspect, except that he was hurt while being arrested by security agents.
Fans booed him as he left the Hollywood Bowl on a stretcher with obvious injuries. He was medically treated and is currently being held in the Hollywood jail on a $30,000 bail bond.
Carla Sims, Chappelle’s publicist, said the comedian is cooperating with the ongoing police investigation. “During the festival, Dave Chapelle performed four nights of comedy and music, tying Monty Python for the most headlined events by any comic at the Hollywood Bowl,” said Sims in a statement to NPR. “He refuses to let yesterday night’s incident overshadow the historic significance of this moment.”
Sims continued, “Chappelle continued his performance despite the tragic and disturbing occurrence. Before Chappelle introduced the evening’s last and featured musical guests, hip-hop musicians Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli, a.k.a. Black Star, Jamie Foxx, and Chris Rock used humor to help calm the audience.”
“We worry passionately about the safety of creators and we fully defend the ability of stand-up comedians to perform on stage without fear of violence,” Netflix said in a statement to NPR after the event.
This isn’t the first incident in Hollywood since the Academy Awards’ “slap heard ’round the world.” A gun was allegedly drawn at a Hollywood comedy club attended by former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson in March. The club customer reportedly assured Tyson he was a fan and stated it was a joke, not a threat. According to reports, the ex-boxer greeted him with a handshake and an embrace.