On Tuesday evening, May 3, American comedian Dave Chappelle was assaulted on stage during his set at the stand-up comedy show organized by Netflix at the Hollywood Bowl at Los Angeles, as reported by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
A few people from the audience were able to film the incident and post the videos online, showing how a man had suddenly rushed over to Chappelle and tackled him to the ground as he was about to leave the stage at the end of his performance.
The LAPD said that the suspect had also been carrying a replica handgun with a blade inside, though it’s unclear if the assailant had tried to use the weapon on the comedian. Chappelle was confirmed to not have been injured and even said in jest, “It was a trans man,” in reference to ongoing controversy about jokes he frequently makes in his Netflix comedy shows that have been deemed “transphobic.”
A BuzzFeed News reporter also noted that, prior to the attack, Chappelle had talked about having “more security because of all the uproar from his jokes about the Trans community.”
Another reporter from ABC News revealed that fellow comedian Chris Rock, who had performed earlier, came onstage to also joke, “Was that Will Smith?”
Chappelle is currently “fully cooperating with the active police investigation into this incident,” as confirmed by his representative.
Netflix meanwhile issued the following statement: “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.”
The assailant was transported via ambulance to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries sustained from his altercation with security and is now being held on US$30,000 bail.
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