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Dave Chappelle Tackled Onstage, Then Immediately Makes Anti-Trans Joke

Dave Chapelle

A 23-year-old suspect has been charged with the attack.


An audience member attacked comedian Dave Chappelle Tuesday night while Chappelle was performing. After security detained the assailant, Chappelle reportedly made a joke about the attacker being transgender.

In videos posted online by audience members, a man is seen running and tackling Chappelle, 48. The comedian had been performing at "Netflix Is a Joke: The Festival."

After the attack, Chappelle, while regaining his composure, is heard on another video saying, "It was a trans man," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The comment was in reference to earlier in his set when he discussed feeling targeted by trans people as well as for comments made previously on his specials, according to NPR.

In his October Netflix comedy special The Closer, Chappelle made several transphobic comments and jokes, including defending J.K. Rowling's own transphobic comments. He even declared himself part of "Team TERF!" -- an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminists.

The Los Angeles Police Department told NBC News that the suspect, identified as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee, had rushed the stage with a replica gun, which could eject a blade. Authorities have charged Lee with felony assault with a deadly weapon and set Lee's bail at $30,000.

After the suspect tackled Chappelle, Brianna Sacks, a BuzzFeed News reporter who was at the show, told the outlet that both security officers and audience members seemed to go after Lee and began "kicking and punching" him for several minutes.

The suspect was eventually taken to the hospital for treatment, CNN reports. Chappelle was not injured in the attack.

Authorities have not stated a motive for the assault.

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