Comedian Dave Chappelle and Netflix have responded to Tuesday night’s attack on the comedian who “refuses to allow” the onstage attack overshadow his historic performance.
“Dave Chappelle celebrated four nights of comedy and music, setting record-breaking sales for a comedian at the Hollywood Bowl,” a spokesperson for Chappelle said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. “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 statement added: “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.”
“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,” a Netflix spokesperson added in their statement.
Video circulating online shows a man running onstage during Chappelle’s appearance at the Netflix is a Joke Festival at the Los Angeles outdoor venue. Multiple witnesses said Chapelle tussled with the man on the floor before he ran off behind an onstage screen, where security subdued him, with Chappelle giving chase.
Local affiliate KABC helicopter video showed the suspect, who LAPD identified as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee, being taken away on a gurney by medical staff. Police confirmed they responded to an incident at the Hollywood Bowl around 10:45 p.m., and that Lee had been booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and held on $30,000 bail.
It was not clear whether the man had been injured, although according to the New York Post, he was “hospitalized after security pounced on him, with video showing his arm twisted and apparently snapped as he was booed while being led to an ambulance while strapped to an upright gurney.” They also say that the man as unhoused, with his address being listed as a shelter.
NBC News Los Angeles reported that the suspect was carrying some kind of replica gun with a blade attachment, but it wasn’t immediately clear whether he tried to use it.