Dave Chappelle has shared additional details regarding an incident where he was attacked on stage on Tuesday night (May 3) while performing a comedy set. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chappelle was joined by Chris Rock on Thursday night at a secret comedy show in Los Angeles. Together, they addressed a crowd that included celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and rapper Yasiin Bey.
“A lot of people love me, it turns out,” Chappelle announced as Rock joined him front and center. The Madagascar voice actor remained next to Chapelle for the duration of the show the outlet reported.
“At least you got smacked by someone of repute!” Chappelle joked to Rock. “I got smacked by a homeless guy with leaves in his hair.”
Additionally, Dave Chappelle revealed he spoke with his attacker, who has been identified as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee.
“I needed to talk to him,” explained Chappelle. Lee, whom Chappelle described as appearing to be mentally ill, shared a story with the comedian about his grandmother from Brooklyn, who had been forced out of her neighborhood by gentrification, and how the attack was his way of getting attention for her story.
Lee faces four misdemeanors after he charged the stage with a weapon resembling a gun with an attached blade.
“This alleged attack has got to have consequences,” said City Attorney Mike Feuer, detailing the charges of battery, possession of a weapon with intent to assault, unauthorized access to the stage area during a performance, and commission of an act that delays an event or interferes with a performer.
At the time of the incident, Lee was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. He is being held on $30,000 bail.
?BREAKING: City Attorney Mike Feuer announces charges against Dave Chappelle’s alleged attacker. pic.twitter.com/OiMh8ZWftX
— The Office of Mike Feuer, L.A. City Attorney (@CityAttorneyLA) May 5, 2022
The day following the chaos, Netflix issued a statement on behalf of its festival and in support of Chappelle. The streaming company has previously issued statements from Chappelle’s corner after his 2021 comedy special The Closer released on the platform was criticized for transphobic commentary.
“We care deeply about the safety of creators and we strongly defend the right of stand-up comedians to perform on stage without fear of violence,” expressed a Netflix spokesperson according to Variety.
Other celebrities have also spoken out about the unexpected violence. 50 Cent took to social media to explain his disdain for the lack of felony charges against Lee, taking aim at the queer community in his commentary.
“Oh Sh*t, is the LGBTQ gonna kill dave right in front of us?” the “I Get Money” rapper wrote on Instagram. “He had a weapon a gun, knife how he or she don’t get charged?” he questioned, continuing, “The world is over, Fvck this.” Tagging rapper Da Baby, 50 Cent concluded writing, “They would have charged your a** for thinking about doing that. LOL.”
Fellow comedian Kevin Hart also added his opinion. Appearing as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday night (May 5), he explained why the incident was necessary.
“Somebody ran onstage and got their a** whooped,” Hart explained. “Not scary. It’s one of those things that needed to happen, though…do you want people to continue to think that they can cross that line and break the barrier of entertainer [and audience]? Somebody getting their a** whooped sends a message out to other people that was like, ‘You know, I was thinking about doing that. But after seeing that, I don’t really want to do that.’”
He continued, “I think it’s time to get back to a place of respect for your live entertainer and understand that you’re coming to a show.”
Chappelle’s own team issued a statement following the event.
“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 70k fans of diverse backgrounds during the first Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival, and he refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment,” stated the statement issued by his production company.
“As unfortunate and unsettling as the incident was, Chappelle went on with the show.”
Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival is set to continue through Sunday (May 8) with additional shows from various performers and comedic talent.