During the Netflix Is A Joke festival, Dave Chappelle was attacked by an audience member. He lunged at him and tackled him to the ground, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The comedian's rep Carla Sims said in a statement that Chappelle "refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment," "Dave Chappelle celebrated four nights of comedy and music, setting record-breaking sales for a comedian at the Hollywood Bowl," Sims said.
"As unfortunate and unsettling as the incident was, Chappelle went on with the show," "Chappelle is cooperating with the active police investigation into this incident," Sims said. “We 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,” a Netflix spokesperson told USA TODAY.
Ahmed Ali, who attended the show, said, per USA TODAY "it was crazy." "There was a lot of confusion," Ali said "I think we all thought, at first, that it was part of the show."
Dave Chappelle has yet to publicly address the situation.
"Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock helped calm the crowd with humor before Chappelle introduced the last and featured musical guests for the evening," Sims said in the statement.
"The guy tried to tackle Dave, and Dave sidestepped," Ali said, noting the attacker was chased by security backstage. Chappelle joined his security team as they surrounded the individual. The LAPD reported that the suspect was armed with a replica gun that could eject a knife blade, according to NBC Los Angeles.
"When you go to (shows) you have to put your cellphone and smartwatches in a magnetically-sealed bag," Ali said. "I saw videos on Twitter, maybe some people snuck their phones in or they pried open the bag — it was pretty hard to (open the bag), we tried." Chris Rock, who performed earlier that day, later joined Chappelle onstage and joked, "Was that Will Smith?" according to NPR, referring to the incident when Smith slapped Rock onstage.