Comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked Tuesday night by a man who rushed onto the stage while the comedian was performing at a venue in Los Angeles, police confirmed.
A Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson told the Washington Post that officers responded to the incident at the Hollywood Bowl around 10:45 p.m. The man, who was carrying a replica gun, was taken away to a nearby hospital to be evaluated for injuries. Chappelle was not seriously injured, police said.
The LAPD spokesman said the incident is being investigated and the man is in custody.
Organizers of the show, which is part of the Netflix Is A Joke festival, have strictly prohibited attendees from using their phones. Still, clips of the incident – which show Chappelle, microphone in hand, being accosted – quickly went viral.
After the man rushed onto the stage towards the end of the show, Chappelle’s security team of ‘at least 10 people’ began punching and kicking the alleged assailant , according to BuzzFeed News reporter Brianna Sacks, who was on the show.
“Pure Chaos”, Sacks wrote on Twitter. “Then Jamie [Foxx] comes out wearing a cowboy hat, looking absolutely shocked, and [Chappelle] makes a joke about stomping on the guy, who keeps getting beaten up.
LAPD cruisers were behind the stage while rappers Talib Kweli and Mos Def performed, she added.
Once the performance was over, onlookers – once again in possession of their phones – walked out of the Hollywood Bowl to find officers charging at the attacker, “who appeared to be strapped in a jacket to a chair, in an ambulance,” Sacks wrote. Videos of the moment shared on social media appear to show the man with a visibly injured arm.
Representatives for Chappelle and Netflix did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Washington Post.
It is not immediately clear what led the man to attack Chappelle. Prior to the commotion, Chappelle “literally just said he now had more security because of all the uproar of his jokes about the trans community,” Sacks wrote.
In his Netflix special “The Closer,” Chappelle joked that he was part of “Team TERF” — an acronym for trans-exclusive radical feminist — and also defended Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who has been criticized for making transphobic statements.
The jokes prompted calls for Netflix to stop airing the show. After the company refused – defending Chappelle as “one of the most popular comedians today” and citing “creative freedom” in an internal memo – a large number of trans and non-binary employees protested in October when leaving the Netflix Los Angeles campus. .
Minutes after being beaten, a seemingly unharmed Chappelle appeared on stage again, where he was later joined by Chris Rock – who was infamously slapped by Will Smith at the Oscars.
“What was also crazy was that Chris Rock performed at the #Netflix is a joke [Chappelle] show (he was fantastic) and joked about what happened to him,” Sacks wrote.