Dave Chappelle seemed to be uninjured Tuesday night in Los Angeles after an audience member stormed the stage and physically assaulted the comic during his performance.
The perpetrator was pursued by security personnel until he was apprehended off stage at the Hollywood Bowl. The assailant was then stretchered out of the arena with apparent injuries to his arm and face.
The comic looked to lose his composure briefly and afterwards remarked, “That was a trans guy,” referring to prior statements in his show that implied he felt assaulted by transgender people, as well as previous material that has been slammed as transphobic.
At one point, Chappelle vanished from view in order to track down the assailant. He said upon his return, “This is what I’ve been doing for 35 years. I just stepped on a [n-word] backstage — something I’ve always wanted to do “seem to be addressing his attacker.
Chappelle drew backlash in October for his upcoming Netflix show The Closer. Chappelle makes jokes about trans women and their genitalia in the programme and defends J.K. Rowling from critics who claim she is transphobic.
The brawl also comes on the heels of another high-profile stage altercation, in which actor Will Smith struck comedian Chris Rock over a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, that Rock told on the Oscars stage in March.
Earlier in his show, which was part of the Netflix Is A Joke festival, Chappelle mentioned “the slap heard ’round the world” and expressed his admiration for both Smith and Rock’s acts.
Rock, who had previously performed a short performance, returned to the stage and quipped, “Was that Will Smith?”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences barred Smith from all of its events, virtual or in person, for ten years after an inquiry.
Chappelle then introduced the final concert, which included the rap group Black Star, which included Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli, as well as DJ Madlib.