Friday, July 1, 2022

Dave Chappelle’s Rep, Netflix Release Statements Following Hollywood Bowl Attack

Dave Chapelle

*Dave Chappelle’s rep and Netflix have issued statements in response to the comedian being attacked as he performed at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday.

The incident went down during the Netflix Is a Joke comedy festival in Los Angeles. Isaiah Lee, 23, said to be a disgruntled member of the queer community, rushed the stage during Chappelle’s set and pushed the comedian, knocking him to the ground, PEOPLE reports. The attacker attempted to flee, but Dave, security guards, and members of Chappelle’s entourage caught him and allegedly served Lee a vicious beatdown. 

Chris Rock later appeared on stage, took the mic from Dave and said to the crowd, “Was that Will Smith?”

READ MORE: Dave Chappelle Attack Update: Isaiah Lee (23) Charged w/Felony Assault

“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,” said Netflix in a statement following the attack, as reported by Complex.

A rep for Chappelle’s production company also released a statement.

“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,” the rep said.

“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,” the statement continued. 

Lee was armed with a replica gun that can eject a knife blade “when you discharge it correctly,” police said. It is unclear if he attempted to use the weapon on Chappelle. Inquiring minds want to know how Lee was able to get the gun through the security check at the Hollywood Bowl. 

Lee, an aspiring hip-hop artist, has been charged with assault and is being held on $30,000 bail, according to reports. Some of Lee’s former neighbors tell the New York Post that he has a temper and is known for creating problems in his apartment complex. 

“Whatever Chappelle was saying and he was not feeling, it would be no surprise to me that he would go, ‘Hey, I’m going to run up and fix it!’ ” said Russell Taylor, who lived in a Redondo Beach, California condo next to a condo where Lee resided, per the report. “You know the slap heard around the world? This is the kind of guy who would take action if you do something he did not like.”

Following the attack on Chappelle, one of LA’s biggest standup comedy clubs, The Laugh Factory, is beefing up security, TMZ reports.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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