Entertainment And News

‘Was That Will Smith?’ – Chris Rock Compares Onstage Attack Against Dave Chappelle To Oscars Slap

Photo: FeatureFlash Photo Agency / Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com
Chris Rock, Will Smith, and Dave Chappelle

Last night, during a performance at Los Angeles’s Hollywood Bowl, Dave Chappelle was tackled by 23-year-old Isaiah Lee who was chased and quickly subdued by the comedian and his bodyguards before being sent to the hospital with several injuries.

According to authorities, the attacker was wielding a replica handgun that contained a knife blade inside, but fortunately, the comedian was unharmed during the incident that occurred onstage.

RELATED: Dave Chappelle Says He Will Stop Making Anti-LGBTQ Jokes After Suicide Of Trans Friend Daphne Dorman

Many people have brought up comparisons to the 2022 Oscars when Will Smith went up on stage and slapped Chris Rock — especially since Rock went on stage with Chappelle and made a joke about it — but some people wonder if this is more than just a random attack.

Did Will Smith slapping Chris Rock set a dangerous precedent for comedians like Dave Chappelle?

The idea that Smith is all of a sudden leading a charge against the comedians of the world is a little absurd to me — if someone was going to attack Chappelle in the first place, they likely would have done it with or without Smith’s incident taking place first.

Chappelle is no stranger to controversy and even stares that controversy in the face, fanning the flames.

He’s been targeted with vitriol by the trans community for years now — sometimes rightfully so — for his various offensive statements regarding gender identity and generalizations of the trans community.

The transphobic nature of jokes that he made during his last Netflix special back in October of last year has resurfaced during the “Netflix Is A Joke” festival as he made a joke about the man who tried to attack him, saying “It was a trans man!”

His bodyguards then proceeded to chase him down alongside Chappelle until they finally overpowered him and gave him various injuries including what appears to be a broken arm — stomped by Chappelle and his gang.

According to Buzzfeed News reporter Brianna Sacks, who attended the show, Chappelle had just finished talking about how he had upped his security because of the uproar from the trans community.

RELATED: 5 Times Chris Rock's Jokes Offended People & Provoked Backlash

Appearing back onstage, Chappelle thanked Jamie Foxx for helping him apprehend the attacker, shouting out Busta Rhymes who was there as well.

"Shout out to Jamie Foxx by the way. Whenever you're in trouble, Jamie Foxx will show up in a sheriff's hat. I thought that was part of the show,” he said. “I seen Busta Rhymes, he was like, 'That's how you do it, god.’”

Rock, who also performed his own standup set that night at the same festival, came up on stage and grabbed Chappelle’s mic to ask “Was that Will Smith?”

The attack against Chapelle and Smith's assault of Rock does hint at a dangerous new trend of lashing out against comedians but the link is still tenuous.

It was also never right for people to attack comedians — or anyone, for that matter — on stage to begin with, just happened to be a coincidence that it happened so close to the infamous Oscars slap.

According to Officer Alba Mendez, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson, Lee was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and was transferred to the Hollywood Division jail at 3:36 a.m. after being treated for an unspecified injury.

He’s being held in lieu of a $30,000 bail.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.

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