Dave Chappelle: Why was comedian attacked at Netflix Is A Joke festival and who is suspect Isaiah Lee?

The stand-up comedian known for his Netflix show The Closer has received backlash in the past for his controversial views on trans people

Dave Chappelle has been attacked during a stand-up performance in the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles.

The stand-up comedian was taking part in the Netflix Is A Joke Festival, when the incident occurred.

Eye witnesses have said that the stand-up was charged whilst on-stage, with actor Jamie Foxx coming to his aid.

The 23-year-old attack suspect has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and is currently being held on a $30,000 bail.

The assault took place a few months after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars over comments he made about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

Here’s everything you need to know about who attacked Chappelle and what he has said.

What happened to Dave Chappelle?

Stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked on stage in Hollywood Bowl, Los AngelesStand-up comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked on stage in Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles
Stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked on stage in Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles

Chappelle was attacked on stage during his stand-up performance for the Netflix Is A Joke Festival at Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

According to Brianna Sacks, a reporter at the show, Chappelle was “charged and tackled,” just as his performance was ending.

Sacks said that security, “rushed and started punching and kicking the s*** out of Chappelle’s attacker”.

Chris Rock, who was slapped by Will Smith at the Oscars earlier this year was also performing.

Sacks tweeted: “After Chappelle got attacked, he came on stage and they joked that it was Will Smith.”

Actor Jamie Foxx who was there to watch the show is said to be one of those who ran up to help.

Videos posted by members of the crowd heard Chappelle say: “Whenever you’re in trouble, Jamie Foxx will show up in a sheriff’s hat.”

In the video you can hear Foxx respond: “I thought that was part of the show.”

A spokesperson for Hollywood Bowl told PA that: “The incident that occurred at the Hollywood Bowl on May 3 2022 is an active investigation and we are unable to comment further at this time.”

Who attacked Dave Chappell?

Isaiah Lee has been confirmed by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) as the prime suspect.

The 23-year-old has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and is being held on $30,000 bail.

So far no motive has been given for the attack, but the LAPD confirmed with NBC that the suspect had been carrying a replica handgun.

A spokeswoman from the LAPD said: “A famous comedian was performing at the Hollywood Bowl and when he finished his act a male jumped on to the stage and tackled the celebrity.

“The suspect produced a replica handgun and pointed the item at the victim. He was taken into custody and was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.”

Chappelle’s spokesperson described the attack as “unfortunate and unsettling” but that he “refuses” to let it “overshadow the magic of this historic moment”.

After the incident, Chappelle joked about his attacker, stating: “It was a trans man”.

What has Dave Chappelle said about trans people in the past?

Chappelle has been called out in the past for transphobic jokes towards the trans community.

In October 2021 his Netflix special The Closer, received backlash after he told his audience that, “gender is a fact.”

Calls for Netflix to remove the special went unanswered and this led 00 Netflix employees walking out in protest.

Commenting on the backlash at the time Chappelle said: “To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience.

“But you will not summon me. I am not bending to anybody’s demands.”

A number of Netflix stars have expressed their support for Netflix staff over the walkout.

In the wake of the incident a number of actors expressed their support for the trans community.

Elliot Page, who came out as transgender in December 2020 tweeted: “I stand with trans, nonbinary, and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) employees at Netflix fighting for more and better trans stories and a more inclusive workplace.”