bowled over

Dave Chappelle attacked on stage during Netflix stand-up show

Dave Chappelle in The Closer
Dave Chappelle in The Closer (Photo: Netflix)

The comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked on stage at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles last night. Chappelle was appearing as part of the comedy festival, Netflix Is A Joke.

During his set, a man rushed on and tackled the performer. Clips posted to social media show him throwing himself violently at Chappelle, who fell onto his back.

According to Variety, the attacker then got up and tried to run from the stage. However, security personnel swiftly descended and dragged him away, joined by actor Jamie Foxx, who’d been watching the set from the wings.

Chappelle later thanked Foxx from the stage, before adding: “I’ve been doing this 35 years. I just stomped a [person] backstage. I’ve always wanted to do that.”

Unconfirmed video later emerged of the attacker outside the venue, being carried on a stretcher into an ambulance. He appeared to be conscious.

Related: LGBTQ celebrities react to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars

After the incident, Chappelle quickly regained his composure and went on to joke with the crowd, “It was a trans man”.

Many LGBTQ advocates (such as advocacy group GLAAD) have criticized Chappelle for comments he made in his 2021 Netflix stand-up show, The Closer, regarding trans people. In it, Chappelle called himself a member of “team TERF” (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist) and stated, “gender is a fact”.

Others have claimed that despite some of his material, Chappelle is sympathetic to the hardships facing many trans people. In The Closer, he talks of his friendship with a trans woman, the comedian Daphne Dorman, who killed herself in 2019.

Related: Netflix reinstates trans employee who complained about Dave Chappelle’s show

Also present at last night’s event was Chris Rock, who performed a set earlier in the evening. After the attack on Chappelle, Rock came on to the stage to quip, “Was that Will Smith?”

A Hollywood Bowl spokesperson told PA Media, “The incident that occurred at the Hollywood Bowl on May 3 2022 is an active investigation and we are unable to comment further at this time.”