There’s always a fuss surrounding Dave Chappelle’s live shows, but Tuesday night’s performance was more shocking than most. Not because of something Chappelle did himself, but because he was allegedly attacked by a man who stormed the stage at the Hollywood Bowl, where Chappelle ran comedy festival Netflix Is A Joke.
Contestants’ phones were reportedly about to be confiscated ahead of the show, so there is very limited footage of what happened. However, according to reports from the scene, a person rushed onto the stage and attacked Chappelle while he was at the microphone. The individual was then reportedly removed by security forces, beaten up by Chappelle’s entourage, and arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). He is said to have been armed with a replica gun with a blade inside Guardian.
A couple of reporters happened to be at the show, and BuzzFeed’s Brianna Sacks shared a video of the alleged attacker being loaded into an ambulance after he was “kicked by at least 10 people.”
In a TikTok post outside the Hollywood Bowl, journalist Sharon Carpenter – another member of the audience – said the attacker “pulled” on Chappelle and “knocked him to the ground.” She described Chappelle as initially “confused,” adding that he quickly recovered and began cracking jokes over the mic, comparing the alleged attacker to Will Smith.
@shazzacarpenter Dave Chappelle was just attacked onstage by a man at his show at the Hollywood Bowl in LA. Dave is OK, but after security finds the attacker, he may not be anymore. #davec ♬ original sound – Sharon Carpenter
Carpenter also mentioned that Jamie Foxx helped remove the attacker from the stage. This was backed up by another clip where Chappelle thanks Foxx for his help. “Whenever you’re in trouble, Jamie Foxx shows up in a sheriff’s hat,” he said. In a second TikTok, Carpenter posted a short, blurry clip that appears to show the moment Chappelle was attacked.
@shazzacarpenter Most of us had to lock our phones before the show, but someone managed to capture a video of #DaveChapelle ♬ in the original soundtrack – Sharon Carpenter
Another participant posted a clearer video Shortly after the alleged attack took place, Chappelle was recorded making a more controversial joke about the attacker. “It was a trans man,” Chappelle quips, citing the backlash against his use of transphobic humor. This is a particularly sensitive issue regarding Chappelle’s relationship with Netflix, as his recent Netflix special sparked internal protests within the company.
The fact that Chappelle is headlining a Netflix comedy festival is in itself controversial, and he apparently mentioned during his appearance that he had increased his own security in response to the backlash. To be clear, there is no evidence that Chappelle’s attacker is transgender or that the attack was politically motivated. The LAPD has not shared any further information about the attack, and Chappelle has yet to make a public statement.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Chappelle’s team and Netflix Is A Joke for comment. We also contacted the LAPD.
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*Initial publication: May 4, 2022 at 8:03 am CDT
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in science fiction films and superheroes, she also appears as a film and television critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she is the co-host of the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor
https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/dave-chappelle-attacked/ Dave Chappelle is said to have been attacked during the Netflix Comedy Festival