The moment went down during part of the Netflix Is a Joke comedy festival in Los Angeles. Variety reports that both Chappelle’s team and the streaming giant condemned the attack.
“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,” said Netflix in a statement.
A rep for Chappelle’s production company also put out a statement, which can be read in full below.
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. As unfortunate and unsettling as the incident was, Chappelle went on with the show. Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock helped calm the crowd with humor before Chappelle introduced the last and featured musical guests for the evening, hip-hop artists yasiin bey and Talib Kweli, a.k.a. Black Star, who performed music from their new album – the first in nearly 24 years – which was released on Luminary. Other special comedic guests last night included Earthquake, Leslie Jones, Jeff Ross, Sebastian, Jon Stewart and Michelle Wolf.
The man who ran onstage and tackled Chappelle has been identified as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee, a.k.a. aspiring hip-hop artist NoName_Trapper. He was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and is being held on $30,000 bail. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, Lee was in possession of a replica handgun that could eject a blade. Chappelle is reportedly cooperating with the police investigation into the incident.
Following the attack, the comic appeared unharmed and quipped, “It was a trans man.” His response is a reference to the backlash he faced regarding transphobic material in his most recent special for Netflix, The Closer, as well as his preceding specials. The 11-day stand-up comedy festival of which performance was a part includes over 120 other comics performing across 25 venues in the Los Angeles area.
Chris Rock made a quick reference to Will Smith’s infamous Academy Awards slap. “Was that Will Smith?” joked the comedian as he hopped onstage. The Chappelle incident has already drawn comparisons to the Oscars slap on social media.