While headlining a set at the Netflix Is a Joke comedy festival at Los Angeles’s Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday, comedian Dave Chappelle was tackled by an armed man in front of audience members.
A cellphone video of the attack shows Chappelle being tackled as security rushed out to grab the attacker. As reported by ABC 7, the man was immediately apprehended and later identified as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee.
Dave Chappelle was tackled on stage while performing during the ‘Netflix is a zjoke’ festival at the Hollywood Bowl.— More Butter 🧈 (@morebuttertv) May 4, 2022
He then proceeded to joke, “It was a trans man!” pic.twitter.com/P3Tw5kWvnd
Chappelle, who was not harmed in the assault, jokingly said “It was a trans man,” to his audience. The joke was met with laughter and applause from attendees. Police have not released if the assailant was transgender, nor have they found a possible motive for the strike.
Chris Rock, who was also performing that night, came on stage and jokingly asked if the attacker was Will Smith, referencing the King Richard actor slapping Rock after he joked about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s alopecia during the 94th Annual Academy Awards.
The incident comes after Chappelle’s controversial Netflix stand-up special where he made numerous jokes about the trans community and called himself “Team TERF” (the acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist.)
It was these comments that sparked a mass walk out of Black and trans Netflix staff and debate regarding LGBTQ+ rights and “artistic freedom.”