Chris Rock reportedly made a joke about Will Smith after Dave Chappelle was attacked onstage towards the end of his set at the Hollywood Bowl Tuesday night. Chappelle was performing as part of the Netflix Is a Joke festival when a man rushed the stage and tackled Chappelle to the ground. The suspect was identified as Isaiah Lee, 23.
Rock was not onstage when Chappelle was tackled, a source told Entertainment Tonight, but he was on his way to take a photo with Chappelle when he heard what happened. "Once he realized what all the commotion was about, he immediately went over to check on Chapelle, and then without skipping a beat, made the Will Smith joke," the source said. Rock grabbed a microphone and asked Chappelle, "Was that Will Smith?" Chappelle also joked about the incident, telling the crowd, "I've been doing this 35 years... I just stomped a n— backstage. Always wanted to do that."
Just came out of the Hollywood Bowl where a man charged and tackled Dave Chapelle on stage and got his ass kicked by at least 10 people.— Brianna Sacks (@bri_sacks) May 4, 2022
LAPD and LAFD are now loading him into an ambulance pic.twitter.com/7SXPe9e8az
The alleged attacker was a member of the audience at the show. Lee was detained by Hollywood Bowl security and taken to the hospital with "superficial injuries," the Los Angeles Police Department told NBC Los Angeles. One video on social media appeared to show the man with his elbow bent at a strange angle. Chappelle was not injured.
Lee was allegedly carrying a replica gun that could eject a knife blade. It is not clear if Lee tried to use the weapon when he tackled Chappelle. Lee will be charged with a felony count of assault with a deadly weapon. He is being held in lieu of $30,000 bail.
The shocking onstage incident happened just weeks after Smith slapped Rock during the 94th Academy Awards in late March. Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith starring in a G.I. Jane sequel because of her shaved head, prompting the assault from Smith. Smith, who won the Best Actor Oscar moments after the scene, later resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. The organization, which hands out the Oscars, also banned him from attending the Academy Awards for the next 10 years.
Chappelle is also a controversial figure due to the transphobic remarks in his Netflix special The Closer. Netflix employees staged a walkout last fall. Chappelle referenced his security concerns stemming from the controversy. "What is really surreal about this is that Chapelle talked about Chris Rock and the slap/new reality facing comedians/having more security with him and his wife being worried about him now," BuzzFeed News journalist Brianna Sacks, who attended the show, tweeted. "He did a whole bit about a crazy man coming to his house and chasing him down in his car."