Comedian Dave Chappelle attacked on stage at Hollywood Bowl

Dave Chappelle introduces Jay-Z during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. October 30, 2021. REUTERS/Gaelen Morse/File Photo

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May 4 (Reuters) – U.S. comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked on stage on Tuesday night at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles by an assailant who rugby-tackled him before being apprehended and arrested, video footage verified by Reuters showed.

The attack came just over a month after actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars, an unprecedented incident at the globally televised event that prompted concerns that performers might be subject to copycat assaults. read more

Smith, who won the best actor award, was subsequently banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years.

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It was not immediately clear if Chappelle was injured in Tuesday’s attack, or what motivated it.

An agent and public relations representative for Chappelle were not immediately available for comment. A representative for the Hollywood Bowl told Reuters the incident was under investigation, declining to comment further.

According to an ABC report, Rock, who had performed earlier in the evening, joined Chappelle on stage moments after it took place and joked: “Was that Will Smith?”

Chappelle and Rock were giving shows as part of an 11-day comedy festival called “Netflix is a Joke”.

Los Angeles police took a male suspect into custody who NBC Los Angeles said was armed with a replica gun capable of ejecting a knife blade.

Video footage obtained by Reuters showed the suspect on a stretcher being placed into an ambulance. He was taken to hospital with minor injuries, NBC Los Angeles cited police as saying.

Los Angeles Police Department officials did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Chappelle’s Netflix comedy special “The Closer” was criticized last year by some who saw it as ridiculing transgender people. Supporters of the comedian viewed it as a cry against cancel culture. read more

Brianna Sacks, a journalist for BuzzFeed News who attended h event, said the altercation took place as Chappelle ended his performance.

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Reporting by Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Shivam Patel; Editing by Nick Macfie and John Stonestreet

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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