An audience member rushed onto stage and physically attacked comedian Dave Chappelle in the middle of his performance on Tuesday night.
NPR’s Emma Bowman was at the Hollywood Bowl event and security personnel confirmed that he chased the assailant until he was detained offstage. The assailant was then escorted off the scene on a stretcher and appeared to have injuries to his arm and face.
Chappelle appeared unscathed. The comedian seemed to lose his temper momentarily and later joked, “He was a trans man,” a callback to earlier words in his set that suggested he felt attacked by transgender people and past material that has been criticized as transphobic.
In October, Chappelle faced controversy over his 2021 Netflix special The closest. In the special, Chappelle jokes about trans women and their genitals and defends JK Rowling against critics who say she’s transphobic and more.
The altercation also follows a similar incident, in which actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock for a joke Rock told about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, on stage at the Oscars in March.
Earlier in his set, which was part of the Netflix Is A Joke festival, Chappelle discussed “the ‘slap in the face’ heard around the world” and said it resonated with Smith and Rock’s actions.
Rock, who had had a brief set earlier in the show, came back on stage and joked, “Was that Will Smith?”
After an investigation, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences banned Smith from all of its events, virtually or in person, for 10 years.