The comedian released a statement on Wednesday afternoon to say the incident was ‘unfortunate’ but not what he wanted to remember from the event
Dave Chappelle has broken his silence on being attacked during his Hollywood Bowl show, saying that he ‘refuses’ to let it overshadow his show and that he is working with the police to bring his attacker to justice.
The comedian released a statement on Wednesday afternoon to say the incident was ‘unfortunate’ but not what he wanted to remember from the event.
‘Dave Chappelle celebrated four nights of comedy and music, setting record-breaking sales for a comedian at the Hollywood Bowl… he refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment.
‘As unfortunate and unsettling as the incident was, Chappelle went on with the show,’ a spokesman said.
After Isaiah Lee, 23, attacked him on stage, Chappelle joked: ‘It was a trans man’.
He had been talking about having to beef up his security in the wake of sparking controversy with his comments about trans people last year when Lee stormed the stage.
Despite the fact someone had just tried to attack him with a knife, critics are now accusing Chappelle of transphobia again for making the joke.
It remains unconfirmed what Lee’s motives were.
His brother told Rolling Stone that he has mental health problems and has some connection to the trans community, but it’s not clear what that is.
Scroll down for video
Isaiah Lee, 23, is removed on a gurney and in handcuffs after trying to attack Dave Chappelle at his show in Hollywood on Tuesday night
Lee is now in the custody of LA County Sheriffs. He has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon
Attacked all over again: Chappelle was slammed for joking it was a ‘trans man’ who had come for him on stage
The 23-year-old was taken into custody at the event, then was taken to the hospital. He is now in jail
Footage later appears to show the suspect being treated by paramedics for a badly injured arm before he was taken to hospital in an ambulance
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.’
Dave Chappelle was last night attacked on stage while filming a Netflix special in Los Angeles
Chris Rock, who performed later in the event last night and was similarly subjected to a violent outburst on stage at the Oscars in March, came on stage and joked: ‘Was that Will Smith?’, with Jimmy Carr standing behind
Chris Rock later came to the stage and joked that it was Will Smith who attacked Chappelle, while Jimmy Carr stood shocked in the background at the ‘crazy’ gig
Chappelle, who sparked outrage in the trans community with controversial comments in a Netflix show last year, appeared to be uninjured
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.
Stars: Madonna, 63, looked pensive as she headed to Nice Guy restaurant with friends after the event while Christina, 40, (right) was seen covering her mouth with her hand in shock
Night out: Celebrities Madonna (pictured), Christina Milian and Karrueche Tran were seen leaving the Hollywood Bowl late on Tuesday night after attending Dave Chappelle’s comedy show where he was tackled on stage in a dramatic attack
Chappelle, pictured at the opening night of the Netflix is a Joke festival last week, came under fire last year over jokes about trans people in his Netflix comedy show The Closer
The venue said on its website that the show, which last night was titled Dave Chappelle and Friends, would be a ‘phone-free experience’
In the aftermath, the confused audience left the arena as the attacker was taken to hospital to treat his injured arm
Footage from the event shows panicked security chasing the attacker round the stage after he ran up and attacked the comedian
After the attack, Jimmy Carr shared a selfie taken with the fellow comedian and described his Los Angeles show as ‘crazy’
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.
Chris Rock performed later in the event last night and was similarly subjected to a violent outburst on stage at the Oscars in March
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 the 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.