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Dave Chappelle is attacked on stage in LA


A 23-year-old man has been charged with trying to attack Dave Chappelle last night at the comedian’s Hollywood Bowl show. 

Isaiah Lee is now being held in the LA County Sheriff’s custody on charges of assault with a deadly weapon. His bail has been set at $30,000. 

Lee’s motive for the attack remains unclear. He stormed the stage while Chappelle joked that he’d had to increase his security in light of his trans jokes at the Netflix is a Joke festival. 

The attacker was armed with a gun that contained a hidden knife, according to the cops. It’s unclear if he was searched on his way into the venue, or how he was able to gain access to the stage. 

An attacker who stormed a stage and bundled Dave Chappelle to the ground in front of a shocked audience was armed with a knife stashed inside a replica gun, police have revealed. 

It raises questions about security at the Netflix show, its first ever live comedy festival, which forced fans to put their phones away but failed to spot the weapon. 

Netflix has not yet addressed the incident. 

Footage later appears to show the suspect being treated by paramedics for a badly injured arm before he was taken to hospital in an ambulance

Footage later appears to show the suspect being treated by paramedics for a badly injured arm before he was taken to hospital in an ambulance

Footage later appears to show the suspect being treated by paramedics for a badly injured arm before he was taken to hospital in an ambulance

Dave Chappelle was last night attacked on stage while filming a Netflix special in Los Angeles

Dave Chappelle was last night attacked on stage while filming a Netflix special in Los Angeles

Security desperately chase the attacker on the stage after he interrupted Chappelle's set and threw him to the ground, sparking panic

Security desperately chase the attacker on the stage after he interrupted Chappelle’s set and threw him to the ground, sparking panic

Video from the Netflix Is A Joke event shows a man charging on to the stage and tackling the comedian

Video from the Netflix Is A Joke event shows a man charging on to the stage and tackling the comedian

Video from the Netflix Is A Joke event shows a man charging on to the stage and tackling the comedian

Chris Rock, who performed later in the event last night and was similarly subjected to a violent outburst on stage at the Oscars in March, came on stage and joked: 'Was that Will Smith?', with Jimmy Carr standing behind

Chris Rock, who performed later in the event last night and was similarly subjected to a violent outburst on stage at the Oscars in March, came on stage and joked: ‘Was that Will Smith?’, with Jimmy Carr standing behind

Reports suggested that the suspect was armed with a gun and a knife, ABC journalist Stephanie Wash said, although this has not yet been confirmed by police

Reports suggested that the suspect was armed with a gun and a knife, ABC journalist Stephanie Wash said, although this has not yet been confirmed by police

Footage appears to show the suspect on a gurney being taken to hospital after he was detained

Footage appears to show the suspect on a gurney being taken to hospital after he was detained

Chris Rock later came to the stage and joked that it was Will Smith who attacked Chappelle, while Jimmy Carr stood shocked in the background at the 'crazy' gig

Chris Rock later came to the stage and joked that it was Will Smith who attacked Chappelle, while Jimmy Carr stood shocked in the background at the ‘crazy’ gig

Chappelle, who sparked outrage in the trans community with controversial comments in a Netflix show last year, appeared to be uninjured

Chappelle, who sparked outrage in the trans community with controversial comments in a Netflix show last year, appeared to be uninjured

Chappelle, who sparked outrage in the trans community with controversial comments in a Netflix show last year, appeared to be uninjured

The venue said on its website that the show, which last night was titled Dave Chappelle and Friends, would be a ‘phone-free experience’ and that the audience would have to secure their phones inside pouches. 

After the attacker was detained, Chappelle thanked Foxx on stage during the curtain call.

He said: ‘Shout out to Jamie Foxx by the way. Whenever you’re in trouble, Jamie Foxx will show up in a sheriff’s hat.’ 

Foxx replied: ‘I thought that was part of the show, I didn’t know what the f***…’

Chappelle said: ‘I grabbed the back of that n**** head. His hair was spongy. Absorbent.’

Foxx added: ‘Listen, I just want to say, this man is an absolute genius. We’ve got to make sure we protect him at all times.

Chappelle, pictured at the opening night of the Netflix is a Joke festival last week, came under fire last year over jokes about trans people in his Netflix comedy show The Closer

Chappelle, pictured at the opening night of the Netflix is a Joke festival last week, came under fire last year over jokes about trans people in his Netflix comedy show The Closer

The venue said on its website that the show, which last night was titled Dave Chappelle and Friends, would be a 'phone-free experience'

The venue said on its website that the show, which last night was titled Dave Chappelle and Friends, would be a 'phone-free experience'

The venue said on its website that the show, which last night was titled Dave Chappelle and Friends, would be a ‘phone-free experience’

In the aftermath, the confused audience left the arena as the attacker was taken to hospital to treat his injured arm

In the aftermath, the confused audience left the arena as the attacker was taken to hospital to treat his injured arm

Footage from the event shows panicked security chasing the attacker round the stage after he ran up and attacked the comedian

Footage from the event shows panicked security chasing the attacker round the stage after he ran up and attacked the comedian

‘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.’

Chappelle said: ‘I’ve been doing this for 35 years. I just stomped a n**** backstage. I’ve always wanted to do that.’

After the attack, Jimmy Carr shared a selfie taken with the fellow comedian and described his Los Angeles show as ‘crazy’.

He tweeted: ‘The Hollywood Bowl show with the legendary Dave Chappelle was crazy. Just happy everyone’s ok.’

Chappelle came under fire last year over jokes about trans people in his Netflix comedy show The Closer.

After the attack, Jimmy Carr shared a selfie taken with the fellow comedian and described his Los Angeles show as 'crazy'

After the attack, Jimmy Carr shared a selfie taken with the fellow comedian and described his Los Angeles show as ‘crazy’

During the controversial special, he made one comment stating that ‘gender is a fact’, prompting Netflix staff to protest and mass outrage on social media against some of his jokes.

He also shared his backing for JK Rowling, who has also attracted criticism for her remarks about biological sex.

In the special, he stated that he does not hate transgender people, and tells a long anecdote about a trans woman comic, who he describes as a friend, who came to his defense in earlier entanglements with the community.

Chappelle added: ‘Every human being in this room, every human being on Earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on Earth. That is a fact.’

In the contentious special, Chappelle also joked that women today view transwomen the same way black people might view white women wearing blackface, and remarked that women are entitled to feel anger toward transwomen, since Caitlyn Jenner won Glamour magazine’s 2015 Woman of the Year award.

‘I’d be mad as sh*t if I was a woman,’ Chappelle said.

The star also joked about the anatomy of transwomen, joking that they lacked real female reproductive organs and that they did not have blood but ‘beet juice’.

The comments prompted calls for Netflix to take down the show, but boss Ted Sarandos told staff that ‘content on screen doesn’t translate to real-world harm’. 

Those who have criticized Chapelle’s jokes have specifically cited the physical danger faced by the trans community as a result of anti-trans ideology. 

Chris Rock performed later in the event last night and was similarly subjected to a violent outburst on stage at the Oscars in March

Chris Rock performed later in the event last night and was similarly subjected to a violent outburst on stage at the Oscars in March

The attack comes weeks after Will Smith attacked Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars, raising fears it would inspire similar violent protests against performers. 

The actor slapped the comedian on stage after a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith’s shaved head. Pinkett-Smith has been open in the past about her struggles with alopecia.

After the slap, Smith returned to his seat and screamed ‘keep my wife’s name out of your f*****g mouth.’

He the then won the Oscar for Best Actor in his role as Richard Williams, in the film King Richard. He used his speech to apologize to the Academy and he later posted an apology on Instagram.

Rock has mostly kept quiet on the issue, speaking out only to say he was ‘processing’ what happened.

The incident prompted members of the comedy community, including Jack Whitehall and Kathy Griffin, to voice their fears that performers are no longer safe on stage. 

The Netflix event is the streaming giant’s first ever comedy festival and features performances from big name stars including Seth Rogen, Snoop Dogg, Bill Burr and Pete Davidson.



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