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The comedian was performing at the Netflix is a Joke festival at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles when a man ran on stage and “lunged” at him.
Immediately after, the attacker was detained by security and removed from the scene. Police later revealed that the man, who was identified as Isiah Lee, was armed with a replica gun “that can eject a knife blade” when discharged correctly.
Chappelle was not injured during the incident and is fully co-operating with the police investigation.
Chappelle has now said via his representative Carla Sims: “The performances by Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl were epic and record-breaking and he refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment.”
The statement continued: “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 70,000 fans of diverse backgrounds during the first Netflix is a Joke: The Festival.”
Chappelle’s rep called the incident “unfortunate and unsettlling” but praised Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock for helping to “calm the crowd with humour” before he continued his set.
Rock made headlines in the aftermath for asking “was that Will Smith?”, in reference to the infamous slap he received by the Best Actor winner at this year’s Oscars ceremony. Onlookers called the Netflix event “the wildest live show” they’d ever seen.
Footage of the attack and Rock’s ensuing comment in response has since surfaced online.
Chappelle was met with criticisim for quipping that his attacker must have been a “trans man”, suggesting he was a target because of his past jokes aimed at the transgender community.