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Dave Chappelle issues first response to “unfortunate and unsettling” attack


A day after Dave Chappelle was tackled on stage while playing the Netflix Is a Joke festival at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles Tuesday night, the comedian and Netflix both issued statements regarding the incident.

“Dave Chappelle celebrated four nights of comedy and music, setting record-breaking sales for a comedian at the Hollywood Bowl,” a Chappelle spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday. “This run ties Chappelle with Monty Python for the most headlined shows by any comedian at the Hollywood Bowl, reaching 70k fans of diverse backgrounds during the first Netflix Is a Joke: The Festival, and he refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment.”

“As unfortunate and unsettling as the incident was, Chappelle went on with the show,” the statement continued. Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock helped calm the crowd with humor before Chappelle introduced the last and featured musical guests for the evening, hip-hop artists yasiin bey and Talib Kweli, a.k.a. Black Star, who performed music from their new album — the first in nearly 24 years -– which was released on Luminary. Other special comedic guests last night included Earthquake, Leslie Jones, Jeff Ross, Sebastian, Jon Stewart and Michelle Wolf.”

In a separate statement, a Netflix spokesperson said, “We care deeply about the safety of creators and we strongly defend the right of stand-up comedians to perform on stage without fear of violence.”

The attack suspect, identified as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee, allegedly rushed the stage when Chappelle was performing and shoved Dave to stage floor, where the comic tussled with the unknown assailant. The suspect, who was brandishing a knife shaped like a gun, was apprehended and taken to the hospital.

Netflix says it’s actively discussing the security protocols for future events.

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