Dave Chappelle Attacked Onstage During Hollywood Bowl Show


Comedian Dave Chappelle Tackled Onstage During LA Festival Show

A man who police said was armed with a replica gun rushed a stage and tackled comedian Dave Chappelle as he was performing at a Los Angeles comedy festival late Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Police Department early Wednesday confirmed the attack, saying the weapon the man was carrying can eject a knife blade "when you discharge it correctly." It is unclear if the fan made an attempt to use the weapon.

Several videos and accounts posted online showed the man climbing onto the front of the Hollywood Bowl stage and rushing toward Chappelle. At least one video showed the comedian falling to the floor, with several other people rushing to apprehend the person.

The attacker, a member of the audience at the show, was detained by the venue's security team and later taken to the hospital with "superficial injuries," the LAPD said. A video posted online of the alleged attacker appeared to the unidentified man on a stretcher with his elbow bent at an odd angle.

Neither Chappelle nor any officer was injured, police said.

Buzzfeed reporter Brianna Sacks also shared a video showing the man being loaded onto an ambulance. Sacks said that, before the attack, the comedian spoke about increased security around him in the wake of widespread backlash for jokes he has made about the transgender community. Some Netflix employees in the fall staged a walkout in Hollywood to protest the company's decision to carry one of Chappelle's comedy specials, "The Closer," which they said included trans-phobic remarks.

A motive for the Tuesday night attack is not clear.

More Dave Chappelle Coverage

Chappelle on Tuesday evening was performing his act at the Hollywood Bowl amphitheater as part of the Netflix Is a Joke: The Festival, taking place from April 28 to May 8. Other acts listed in the lineup alongside Chappelle included Leslie Jones, Jon Stewart and Chris Rock — a comedian who also recently faced violence onstage when he was slapped by Will Smith at the Academy Awards in March.

Representatives for Dave Chappelle and the Hollywood Bowl could not immediately be reached for comment.

The venue said on its website that the show would be a “phone-free experience” and that attendees would be required to secure their phones inside specially designed pouches. At least one person sharing a video of the incident said they had "forgotten" a second phone in their bag.

Audience Video Appears To Show Comedian Dave Chappelle Attacked On Stage At The Hollywood Bowl

It's unclear whether Chappelle was injured, but another video seemingly recorded by someone in the audience appears to show the comedian joking about the incident afterward and continuing with his set.

The motive of the apparent attack is unclear.

CNN has reached out to representatives for Chappelle for comment.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) told CNN affiliate KABC officers responded to an incident at the Hollywood Bowl around 10:45 p.M., and a man who was reportedly armed with a gun and a knife was taken into custody.

CNN has reached out to the LAPD, the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Hollywood Bowl for more information.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Dave Chappelle Attacked Onstage During Hollywood Bowl Show

In the wake of Hollywood A-lister Will Smith marching onstage during the Academy Awards and slapping the piss out of presenter Chris Rock over a joke about his wife, comedians across the country expressed worry that it could embolden others to do the same.

On Tuesday night, during Dave Chappelle’s stand-up comedy performance at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl, a man rushed onstage and tackled the comic mid-performance before being subdued—and stomped down—by a number of security guards and Chappelle’s entourage, which included the actor Jamie Foxx. Then Chappelle, seemingly OK, continued on with the show, reportedly joking that the assailant “was a trans man”—a nod to his 2021 Netflix stand-up special The Closer, which received widespread condemnation among the LGBTQ+ community and their allies over its transphobic material.

Chappelle, 48, was performing a set as part of Netflix’s inaugural comedy festival, Netflix Is A Joke Fest. Earlier in the set, he discussed how he had to increase his security personnel in the wake of the Netflix controversy. The attacker, who appeared severely injured, was then captured on video being loaded on a gurney and taken to the hospital.

“Los Angeles police confirmed to Eyewitness News that they responded to an incident at the Hollywood Bowl around 10:45 p.M. And a man who was reportedly armed with a gun and a knife was taken into custody,” reported Los Angeles’s KABC News.

After the melee, Chappelle brought opener Chris Rock out onstage, who joked “it was Will Smith.” Chappelle also brought out Foxx for a standing ovation, and then announced: “I’ve been doing this for 35 years. I just stomped a n----- backstage. I’ve always wanted to do that.”

Last fall, Netflix employees staged a walkout in protest of Chappelle’s The Closer, which contained a number of transphobic jokes. A number of Netflix employees also resigned over the special, including senior software engineer Terra Field and editorial and publishing manager Oliver Whitney, both of whom are trans.

This story is still developing…

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