News broke that comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked this week while onstage at the Hollywood Bowl. He was rushed while onstage by a young man, who was identified as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee, who was taken into custody for assault with a deadly weapon on Tuesday night. The deadly weapon in question is a plastic replica gun that contains a knife blade, according to an LAPD statement. Chappelle was not injured by the attacker.
His friends Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock were in the audience, with Rock being another performer at the Netflix show. The pair made sure their friend was okay after the happening, and Chappelle was able to move forward, calming himself and the audience down. Now, Chappelle’s team and Netflix have given statements, with Chappelle’s saying:
“Dave Chappelle celebrated four nights of comedy and music, setting record-breaking sales for a comedian at the Hollywood Bowl. This run ties Chappelle with Monty Python for the most headlined shows by any comedian at the Hollywood Bowl, reaching 70k fans of diverse backgrounds during the first Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival, and he refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment. 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, who performed music from their new album – the first in nearly 24 years – which was released on Luminary. Other special comedic guests last night included Earthquake, Leslie Jones, Jeff Ross, Sebastian, Jon Stewart and Michelle Wolf.”
A Netflix spokesperson weighed in, saying:
“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.”
This is a crazy and sad event. Some are guessing that it’s due to the Will Smith Oscar’s slap that this brazen guy felt encouraged to act out physically against something he didn’t like being communicated. Comedians have always tested the boundaries, and it’s just not okay that they may feel like they’re unsafe by doing so. If you don’t like what a comedian has to say, no one is pushing you to listen to them or attend his events. I’m glad Chappelle was able to move on with the night and come out unharmed. Hopefully, this isn’t a new world we have to live in, and everyone will be able to stay safe with their thoughts and choice of words.