Dave Chappelle Attacked on Stage During Netflix Comedy Festival Performance

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 28:  Comedian Dave Chappelle arrives at the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Comedian Dave Chappelle arrives at the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)

Dave Chappelle was attacked on stage while performing at the Hollywood Bowl on May 3. The comedian was participating in the ongoing Netflix Is a Joke Fest when an attendee rushed the stage and tackled him. The assailant was swiftly carried away by security, and he was later found to be carrying a replica handgun that ejects a knife, NBC Los Angeles reported. He was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

Chappelle was uninjured by the attack, and he even came back out to close out the set. In videos of his return to the stage, Chappelle joked that he initially thought the attack was just "part of the show." Jamie Foxx, who was in attendance, then joined him on stage and told the crowd: "This man is an absolute genius. We have to make sure we protect him at all times." Chris Rock, who performed earlier, also came on stage and asked, "Was that Will Smith?" referencing the incident at the 2022 Oscars.

A motive is not currently clear, but according to BuzzFeed News reporter Brianna Sacks, who attended the show, Chappelle spoke earlier in his set about needing more security due to the backlash over his prior transphobic comments. When he returned to the stage, Chappelle said of the assailant, "It was a trans man."

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