Dave Chappelle Assaulted on Stage During Netflix Comedy Festival

Dave Chappelle Attacked Hollywood Bowl

Comedian Dave Chappelle was assaulted by an audience member on Tuesday night while performing at the Netflix Is a Joke comedy festival at the Hollywood Bowl.

According to attendees at the show, as well as video footage from Chappelle’s stand-up set, a man came on stage and rushed at Chappelle during his performance and tackled him to the floor, before getting apprehended by venue security. The Los Angeles Police Department later told NBC News Los Angeles that the man was armed with a replica gun that featured an ejectable knife blade; it’s not currently clear if an attempt was made to use the weapon while on stage.

Police said neither Chappelle nor any officers were injured during the incident, while the assailant was taken to the hospital with “superficial injuries.”

UPDATE: The LAPD told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday afternoon that 23-year-old suspect Isaiah Lee has been arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

In a statement obtained by TVLine, a Netflix spokesperson said, “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.”

In video footage posted on social media after the incident, Chappelle is heard saying/joking, “It was a trans man” after security apprehended the attacker. Last year, the comedian drew ire for jokes made in his Netflix special The Closer that were deemed “dangerously transphobic” by at least one member of the streaming service’s creative community. According to BuzzFeed News reporter Brianna Sacks, who was in attendance at Chappelle’s Hollywood Bowl performance on Tuesday, Chappelle “had literally just said he now has more security because of all the uproar from his jokes about the Trans community” before the assault took place.

A representative for Chappelle did not immediately respond to TVLine’s request for comment.

The Netflix Is a Joke comedy festival is taking place from April 28 through May 8 this year, featuring more than 250 shows across more than 30 venues. In addition to stand-up comedy performances, the event includes Q&A sessions, live script reads and more.

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