Chris Rock was in attendance as an individual rushed the stage to attack a comedian during a comedy set, but this time he wasn’t the victim, it was comedian Dave Chappelle.
Chappelle was attacked Tuesday night while performing on stage at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California. The performance was part of the Netflix is a Joke comedy festival and Chappelle’s last scheduled show as part of the festival. He previously performed as part of the festival on four other occasions from April 28th to May 1st.
Video footage shows the man lunging in a tackle at Chappelle hitting him in the chest before landing on the stage. Chappelle takes the blow and visibly knocked backwards. However, he doesn’t appear to have been knocked down.
— abazar 🦇🔊 (@abazar) May 4, 2022
After attacking Chappelle, the man quickly tries to run off the stage before being apprehended by security and Chappelle’s bodyguards backstage.
The LAPD confirmed they had taken a man into custody for tackling Dave Chappelle and that the man was armed with a replica gun “that can eject a knife blade” when discharged correctly. NBC News LA reports “It is not clear whether he used the weapon in the attack.
The 23-year-old male named Isaiah Lee was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon according to the LAPD. He’s currently being held on $30,000 bail.
Buzzfeed reporter Brianna Sacks, who was at the event, shared a video of the aftermath of the incident showing the attacker being wheeled into an ambulance after suffering what is believed to be a broken arm among several other injuries as a result of his backstage fight with security.
“Just came out of the Hollywood Bowl where a man charged and tackled Dave Chapelle on stage and got his ass kicked by at least 10 people. LAPD and LAFD are now loading him into an ambulance” Sacks said.
Just came out of the Hollywood Bowl where a man charged and tackled Dave Chapelle on stage and got his ass kicked by at least 10 people.
LAPD and LAFD are now loading him into an ambulance pic.twitter.com/7SXPe9e8az
— Brianna Sacks (@bri_sacks) May 4, 2022
She continued to describe the situation on Twitter, “The show was just ending when the man hopped onto stage and ran at Chapelle, form tackling him to the ground. The comedian had literally just said he now has more security because of all the uproar from his jokes about the Trans community.”
“Security et al rushed and started punching and kicking the shit out of Chapelle’s attacker,” she added. “He was just about to bring on Talib Kweli and Mos Def for the encode and we in the crowd were like what the f*** is going on. Chapelle kept on while the guy was getting beat in the back”
“Sheer chaos,” she tweeted. “Then Jamie Fox comes out in a cowboy hat, looking absolutely shocked, and Chapelle makes a joke about stomping the guy, who is still getting beat up. kweli and Mos Def do their set while LAPD cruisers start arriving behind the stage. F***ing wild.”
Chappelle appeared to be largely unhurt by the attack and quickly regained his composure by joking “It was a trans man” afterward.
Sacks reported, “While the attacker was getting beat up, Chappelle made a joke about him probably being a Trans man.”
In a clip posted by Twitter user DoZay, Chappelle can be heard saying, “It was a trans man.”
— DoZay (@DoZay1) May 4, 2022
Sacks also reported that Comedian Chris Rock, who had performed a set earlier in the evening, came on stage with Chappelle after the attack and joked that the attacker was Will Smith.
She wrote, “What was also wild was that Chris Rock performed at the Netflix is a Joke Chapelle show (he was fantastic) and joked about what happened to him. After Chapelle got attacked, he cam on stage and they joked that it was Will Smith.”
Rock was the victim of Will Smith’s slap during the Oscar ceremony back in March for a joke he made about Jada Pinkett Smith in an incident that went viral and was the talk of the town for well over a month.
As noted above, actor and comedian Jamie Foxx was also in attendance and reportedly rushed on stage to help Chappelle and apprehend the attacker.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chappelle later joked at the end of the show “Whenever you’re in trouble, Jamie Foxx will show up in a sheriff’s hat.”
“N****, I thought that was part of the show, I didn’t know what the fuck…” Foxx joked in response. Chappelle then says, “I grabbed the back of that n**** head. His hair was spongy, absorbent.”
Foxx then said, “Listen, I just want to say, this man is an absolute genius. We’ve got to make sure we protect him at all times.
“For every comedian who comes out here, this means everything. You’re a genius. You’re a legend, I enjoyed myself thoroughly, and we’re not going to let nothing happen to you,” Foxx added.
Chappelle then jokes to Foxx, “I’ve been doing this for 35 years. I just stomped a n**** backstage. I’ve always wanted to do that.”
Chappelle has found himself under the gun of the LGBTQ community over the last couple of years due to jokes that they have deemed “transphobic.” Chappelle’s deal with Netflix led employees to stage internal protests in an effort to get him kicked off of the platform.
Chappelle responded to the outrage caused by his most recent Netflix special called “The Closer” saying, “To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience, but you will not summon me. I am not bending to anybody’s demands,” the comedian fervently asserted.
Comedian Konstantin Kisin responded on Twitter about the incident, “If you convince people that words and jokes are violence, this is inevitable.”
An investigation into the incident is ongoing and as of this writing there is no motive for why Lee tackled Chappelle at the event.