Original Article By Jack Newman And Jennifer Smith At DailyMail.co.uk
A 23-year-old man has been charged with trying to attack Dave Chappelle last night after storming on stage armed with a knife and tackling the comedian at his Hollywood Bowl show.
Isaiah Lee is now being held in the LA County Sheriff’s custody on a single felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon. His bail has been set at $30,000. Lee’s motive for the attack remains unclear. Police have not yet established where he lives, and if he attended the show alone.
He stormed the stage while Chappelle joked that he’d had to increase his security in light of his trans jokes at the Netflix is a Joke festival. The attacker was armed with a gun that contained a hidden knife, according to the cops. It’s unclear if he was searched on his way into the venue, or how he was able to gain access to the stage.
Chappelle was uninjured and carried on with the show.
Lee was then tackled by security guards who appeared to break his arm in the melee. He is described as weighing 140lbs and is 5ft 11.
It raises questions about security at the Netflix show, its first ever live comedy festival, which forced fans to put their phones away but failed to spot the weapon. Netflix has not yet addressed the incident.
The venue said on its website that the show, which last night was titled Dave Chappelle and Friends, would be a ‘phone-free experience’ and that the audience would have to secure their phones inside pouches.
After the attacker was detained, Chappelle thanked Foxx on stage during the curtain call. He said: ‘Shout out to Jamie Foxx by the way. Whenever you’re in trouble, Jamie Foxx will show up in a sheriff’s hat.’
Foxx replied: ‘I thought that was part of the show, I didn’t know what the f***…’
Chappelle said: ‘I grabbed the back of that n**** head. His hair was spongy. Absorbent.’
Foxx added: ‘Listen, I just want to say, this man is an absolute genius. We’ve got to make sure we protect him at all times.
‘For every comedian who comes out here, this means everything. You’re a genius. You’re a legend, I enjoyed myself thoroughly, and we’re not going to let nothing happen to you.’
Chappelle said: ‘I’ve been doing this for 35 years. I just stomped a n**** backstage. I’ve always wanted to do that.’
After the attack, Jimmy Carr shared a selfie taken with the fellow comedian and described his Los Angeles show as ‘crazy’.
He tweeted: ‘The Hollywood Bowl show with the legendary Dave Chappelle was crazy. Just happy everyone’s ok.’
Chappelle came under fire last year over jokes about trans people in his Netflix comedy show The Closer.
During the controversial special, he made one comment stating that ‘gender is a fact’, prompting Netflix staff to protest and mass outrage on social media against some of his jokes.
He also shared his backing for JK Rowling, who has also attracted criticism for her remarks about biological sex.
In the special, he stated that he does not hate transgender people, and tells a long anecdote about a trans woman comic, who he describes as a friend, who came to his defense in earlier entanglements with the community.
Chappelle added: ‘Every human being in this room, every human being on Earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on Earth. That is a fact.’
In the contentious special, Chappelle also joked that women today view transwomen the same way black people might view white women wearing blackface, and remarked that women are entitled to feel anger toward transwomen, since Caitlyn Jenner won Glamour magazine’s 2015 Woman of the Year award.
‘I’d be mad as sh*t if I was a woman,’ Chappelle said.
The star also joked about the anatomy of transwomen, joking that they lacked real female reproductive organs and that they did not have blood but ‘beet juice’.
The comments prompted calls for Netflix to take down the show, but boss Ted Sarandos told staff that ‘content on screen doesn’t translate to real-world harm’.
Those who have criticized Chapelle’s jokes have specifically cited the physical danger faced by the trans community as a result of anti-trans ideology.
The attack comes weeks after Will Smith attacked Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars, raising fears it would inspire similar violent protests against performers.
The actor slapped the comedian on stage after a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith’s shaved head. Pinkett-Smith has been open in the past about her struggles with alopecia.
After the slap, Smith returned to his seat and screamed ‘keep my wife’s name out of your f*****g mouth.’
He then won the Oscar for Best Actor in his role as Richard Williams, in the film King Richard. He used his speech to apologize to the Academy and he later posted an apology on Instagram.
Rock has mostly kept quiet on the issue, speaking out only to say he was ‘processing’ what happened.
The incident prompted members of the comedy community, including Jack Whitehall and Kathy Griffin, to voice their fears that performers are no longer safe on stage.
The Netflix event is the streaming giant’s first ever comedy festival and features performances from big name stars including Seth Rogen, Snoop Dogg, Bill Burr and Pete Davidson.