A man assaulted the comedian Dave Chappelle while performing a stand-up performance in Los Angeles, police said. The comedian was not injured.
A video circulating on social media shows that as Chappelle was wrapping up his performance Tuesday night at the “Netflix Is A Joke” comedy festival at the Hollywood Bowl, a man from the audience climbed onstage and threw him into the floor.
The attacker, who was carrying a replica pistol that doubles as a knife, was stopped by security guards after running behind a screen on stage.
Chappelle, 48, has recently sparked protests over his jokes considered transphobic, but the motive for the attack is not known so far. Los Angeles Police confirmed the incident to AFP, following a report by The Holywood Reporter.
The attacker has been identified as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee and charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon, Los Angeles Police spokeswoman Lizeth Lomeli said. When asked what motivated the attack, she said that this was part of the police investigation.
Video footage shows the attacker being carried on a stretcher to a hospital for treatment, Lomeli said.
Chappelle, winner of the 2019 Mark Twain Prize for Humor in the United States, has been accused of specifically targeting the transgender community in his comedy specials, most notably in October’s “The Closer.” The show generated protests from activists, who considered that it promoted discrimination.
In March, actor Will Smith assaulted American comedian Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars for making a joke about his sick wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
After Tuesday night’s episode, Rock, who was performing at the same venue, appeared with Chappelle onstage and, according to CNBC and other media outlets, joked, “That was Will Smith?”
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