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Dave Chappelle Addresses Recent On-Stage Attack

Dave Chappelle says that he refuses to allow Tuesday night’s on-stage attack to distract from the “historic” night of comedy he participated in for Netflix Is a Joke: The Festival. A representative for the legendary comedian released a statement on his behalf, Wednesday afternoon.“The performances by Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl were epic and record-breaking and he refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment,” his rep, Carla Sims, told The Hollywood Reporter. “Dave Chappelle celebrated four nights of comedy and music, setting record-breaking sales for a comedian at the Hollywood Bowl. 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.”Kevin Winter / Getty ImagesThe incident occurred around 10:45 PM when the suspect, later identified as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee, rushed Chappelle with an ejectable knife. Shortly after, he was arrested and charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon. Lee’s motivation for attacking Chappelle remains unclear.Sims’s statement continues: “As unfortunate and unsettling as the incident was. Chappelle went on with the show. 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.”Netflix released a statement on its own, saying that they “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.”Shortly after the incident, Chris Rock, who was also performing at the festival, joked that the attacker was Will Smith.Lee is currently being held on $30,000 bail.[Via]

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