Howard Stern slammed the Oscars audience for doing nothing when Chris Rock was slapped by Will Smith after stars came to Dave Chapelle’s defense following his on-stage attack in Hollywood.
On Tuesday, 23-year-old Isaiah Lee was arrested after 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.
Lee was armed with a knife stashed inside a gun and made a bee-line for the comedian to tackle him but Chappelle swerved the attack and was unharmed.
On Wednesday Howard Stern (pictured) pointed out how different of a reaction famous audience members had to Chapelle’s attack compared to Rock’s Oscar slap
Dave Chappelle was last night attacked on stage while filming a Netflix special in Los Angeles
Longtime comedian Stern commented on the attack during his Wednesday show, saying he has been fearful for a while about doing live shows because ‘people are getting nuttier and nuttier and they’re going to use these opportunities to attack people,’
Stern and his co-host Robin Quivers discussed how comedians are now on high alert following Will Smith’s attack on Chris Rock during this year’s Oscar ceremony.
But according to Stern comedians tend to out their guard down when on stage because they are concentrating on their sets and aren’t aware of whether or not people getting close to them.
‘When you’re doing your job and you’re in the zone, you’re hyper-focused on it. So being on stage is really weird cause you’re not- you can’t sit there and go ‘I hope no one from the f***ing audience comes up,’ he said.
But then Stern got upset when he pointed out how different of a reaction famous audience members had to Chapelle’s attack compared to Rock’s.
Following his attack on Chapelle, Lee was tackled and beaten up by security guards, Chapelle himself and actor Jamie Foxx even helped.
‘Unlike the Academy Awards, Jamie Foxx came running out on stage and helped Dave Chappelle,’ Stern said. ‘Now here’s the point I want to make about this and how fucked up Hollywood is. Some people in the audience at the Academy Awards still should be very ashamed of themselves. I hope they are.’
Stern pointed out that unlike Chapelle’s attacker, Smith was coddled and minutes later was able to get on stage and accept an award.
‘This guy jumped up on stage and attacked Dave Chappelle. As soon as that happened, did they let him go back to his seat and laugh and sit next to his wife and then give them an award? No! They took him back stage, they broke his arms and hands so bad,’ Stern said.
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
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 performed later in the event last night and was similarly subjected to a violent outburst on stage at the Oscars in March
‘They fucking beat the shit out of him. But! At the Academy Awards everyone came over and consoled Will Smith- because it was live television and Hollywood didn’t know what to do about Will Smith,’ he continued.
‘Listen! You don’t treat Will Smith any different than they did the Chappelle attacker. The audience at the Oscars gave Will Smith a standing ovation after the attack, that’s the truth. It’s on film, it’s not fake news. They didn’t break Will’s hands, they shook them and it’s wrong and they all should be ashamed of themselves,’ Stern added.
Stern, who is friends with Rock, has expressed his frustrations with how Smith was treated after he 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.
While Lee’s motive for the attack remains unclear, Chapelle 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.