Attacker at Dave Chappelle Show Charged With Assault with a Deadly Weapon
The guy who assaulted comedian Dave Chappelle onstage at the “Netflix is a Joke” Festival has been arrested. Isaiah Lee, 23, is accused of jumping on stage at the Hollywood Bowl, pointing a faux firearm with a knife blade, and tackling Chappelle. Police are still looking into a motive.
Audience members who slipped phones into the stadium filmed the violence. An eyewitness informed that the comic had mentioned his enhanced security during his standup performance before the event. A recent Oscars incident in which Best Actor winner Will Smith struck presenter Chris Rock over a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair was spotted by others. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences investigated and banned Smith for ten years from all Academy events.
Smith’s and Rock’s acts apparently struck a chord with Chappelle.
Some fans captured Chappelle later on stage with actor Jamie Foxx and comedian Chris Rock, both festival performers. Will Smith? Rock inquired, to laughter.
His assailant “Was a trans man.” Chappelle allegedly joked. Transgender individuals assaulted him earlier in the set, accusing him of being transphobic. In his October Netflix special “The Closer” Chappelle made fun of trans women’s genitalia.
A witness told NPR that Chappelle and security officers chased the man backstage following the altercation. His attacker reportedly yelled him back “I’ve been doing this for 35 years.” stomped an n-word backstage – always wanted to.”
The LAPD said Lee was hurt while being arrested by security personnel. He was spotted exiting the Hollywood Bowl on a stretcher, booed by Chappelle fans. He was hospitalised and is now in the Hollywood prison on a $30,000 bail bond.
Carla Sims, Chappelle’s PR agent, says the comedian is cooperating with the police inquiry. The event featured four nights of comedy and music from Dave Chapelle, tying Monty Python for the most headlining concerts at the Hollywood Bowl,” Sims told. “He refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment.”
He continued, “As unfortunate and unsettling as the incident was, Chappelle went on with the show. Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock helped calm the crowd with humor before Chappelle introduced the last and featured musical guests for the evening, hip-hop artists Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli, a.k.a. Black Star.”
“We care deeply about the safety of creators and we strongly defend the right of stand-up comedians to perform on stage without fear of violence.” Netflix said after the incident.
This is hardly the first Hollywood incident since the Oscars “slap heard ’round the world” In March, a guy allegedly brandished a pistol at a Hollywood comedy club frequented by Mike Tyson. The club patron insisted it was a joke, not a threat, and introduced himself as a fan. The ex-boxer reportedly hugged and handshaked him.