Comedian Dave Chappelle Tackled Onstage During LA Festival Show – NBC Southern California
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 be 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.
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.