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Dave Chappelle's attacker explained why he rushed onstage and body slammed the comedian during a "Netflix is a Joke" show at the Hollywood Bowl on May 3.

Police say Isaiah Lee jumped a barrier and rushed the comedian onstage during the show.
 
RELATED: No felony charges for man who attacked Dave Chappelle
 
In a jailhouse interview, Isaiah Lee said he was offended by Chappelle's LGBT+ jokes, which Lee said was "triggering."

"I identify as bisexual, and I wanted him to know what he said was triggering," Lee said Saturday.

"I wanted him to know that next time, he should consider first running his material by people it could affect."

Lee, who suffered a broken arm during the incident, said he grew angry and frustrated with Chappelle's prior controversies.

"I'm also a single dad and my son is 5," said Lee, 23. "It's a struggle and I wanted Dave Chappelle to know it's not a joke."

Lee is being held at the Twin Towers Correctional facility in Los Angles on $30,000 bond.

He was also charged with attempting to kill his roommate during an altercation earlier this year.

Lee was a ward of the state who was taken in by his grandma, Joy Chatel, who died when he was 14. He was diagnosed with "displacement anxieties," and other emotional problems, according to a court filing.

Lee is an aspiring rapper who dropped a track titled "Dave Chappelle" in 2020.

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Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle cracked jokes about Chappelle's attacker at a super secret comedy show on Thursday night in Los Angeles.

Chappelle was tackled by knife-wielding Isaiah Lee, 23, during his comedy set at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday.

As you know, Rock was slapped by former A-list actor Will Smith during the Oscar Awards on March 27.

The two comedians joked about the incidents at a secret show at The Comedy Store club attended by Kim Kardashian, Sean Combs, and Mos Def.

"At least you got smacked by someone of repute!" Chappelle told Rock. "I got smacked by a homeless guy with leaves in his hair."

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Rock snapped back: "I got smacked by the softest n---a that ever rapped."

Twitter was not amused by Rock's jokes.

One Twitter user wrote: "If you got slapped by someone who was "soft", then what does that make you??? It's giving marshmallow, Charmin ultra-soft face a**."

Another Twitter user wrote: "Boooooo that's a trash a** joke try again cuz you still end up getting smacked so if Will is soft then what are you? [sic]"

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The Los Angeles County district attorney declined to file felony charges against the man who attacked Dave Chappelle onstage on Tuesday.

Isaiah Lee, 23, was arrested by LAPD after he tackled the 48-year-old comedian during his set at the Hollywood Bowl Tuesday night.

Chappelle was performing as part of the "Netflix Is a Joke" festival when Lee rushed onstage. Police say he was armed with a replica gun with a knife blade inserted in the barrel.

Chappelle was not injured.

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Lee was roughed up by security and suffered a dislocated shoulder, a swollen eye and facial lacerations. He was transported to a hospital for treatment, then booked on an assault with a deadly weapon charge. He is being held on $30,000 bond.

Despite being armed with a deadly weapon, the country district attorney's office said "the evidence as presented did not constitute felony conduct."

The case was referred to the Los Angeles attorney for possible misdemeanor charges instead.

A spokesperson for Chappelle said he is cooperating fully in the investigation, and he won't let it overshadow the record-breaking performance at the Hollywood Bowl.

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TMZ obtained video footage of a man assaulting comedian Dave Chappelle during his set at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday.

The video shows the man rush onstage and tackle Chappelle to the floor. The attacker, later identified as Isaiah Lee, 23, then tried to flee backstage as security and several celebrities chased him.

"I am going to kill that n----a," Chappelle said, before going behind the curtain to see what was happening.

"Thank god that n---a was clumsy. He's back there getting stomped," Chappelle said as some people in the crowd laughed.

He joked that Lee was "a trans man," in reference to his comments about transgenders in his Netflix specials.

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Lee was arrested by the LAPD and transported to a hospital. He suffered multiple bruises and lacerations in his face. His right shoulder appeared to be dislocated.

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Lee was armed with a replica gun that ejects a knife blade similar to this one. Chappelle was not injured.

Chris Rock, who performed earlier, hugged Chappelle and said, "Was that Will Smith?"

Among the celebrities in the audience were Beyonce and Jay Z, Sean Combs, Christina Milian, Karrueche Tran, rappers Gunna, Mos Def and Busta Rhymes, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jon Stewart, Chris Tucker, Elon Musk, and more.

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Jamie Foxx and Busta Rhymes were among the stars who restrained Lee after the attack.

"N——, I thought that was part of the show, I didn't know what the f——k," Foxx told Chappelle.

Chappelle then joked "I grabbed the back of that n—— head. His hair was spongy. Absorbent."

Foxx added: "For every comedian who comes out here, this means everything. You're a genius. You're a legend, I enjoyed myself thoroughly, and we're not going to let nothing happen to you."

Watch the video below.
 

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Update: A man who rushed comedian Dave Chappelle during his comedy set at the Hollywood Bowl suffered a broken arm and other injuries. The incident happened during Chappelle's set at the Netflix Is A Joke Festival on Tuesday night.

Several videos circulating online show a man rush Chappelle and tackle him to the stage before running behind the curtain where he was subdued by security and a few of Chappelle's friends.

According to reports, the man was kicked and punched by security before he was taken to a hospital on a gurney. The man is now in police custody at the hospital.

The LAPD confirmed a man was arrested at the Hollywood Bowl and that he was armed with a replica gun "that can eject a knife blade" when discharged.

"It was a trans man," said Chappelle, in reference to his jokes about transgender people in his Netflix specials.
 
ALSO READ: Dave Chappelle refuses to bend to transgender demands: 'You will not summon me'
 
According to Stephanie Wash, a journalist for ABC News, Chappelle was joined onstage by fellow comedian Chris Rock, who had performed earlier.

Rock joked, "Was that Will Smith?" in reference to the infamous slapping incident at the Oscar Awards in March.

In a video, Jamie Foxx told Chappelle, "N——, I thought that was part of the show, I didn't know what the f——k."

Chappelle then joked "I grabbed the back of that n—— head. His hair was spongy. Absorbent."

Foxx added: "For every comedian who comes out here, this means everything. You're a genius. You're a legend, I enjoyed myself thoroughly, and we're not going to let nothing happen to you."

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Idris Elba (L) confessed he was Dave Chappelle's weed man before finding fame as a drug kingpin on HBO's The Wire.

Idris brought his experience as a petty drug dealer to the critically acclaimed HBO crime drama about the Baltimore drug scene.

During an appearance on The Jess Cagle Show, Idris said selling weed was just one of his side hustles. He was also a DJ spinning records at nightclubs before making it big in Hollywood.

"I did that for a little bit just to help pay the way," the Hedgehog 2 star said. "I DJed quite a bit... [and] I was a doorman at Caroline's Comedy Club."

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Idris said he took advantage of his gig as a doorman at the comedy club to meet comedians who wanted to get high before their gigs.

The British actor told Jess Cagle and co-host, Julia Cunningham, that his celebrity clientele, including Chappelle, were impressed by his manners and his British accent.

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"I meet the comedians [now] that kind of remember the English guy," he says. "Tall English guy with the funny accent and the little hair. David Chappelle remembers me cause he used to buy weed from me! Anyway, moving on."

Idris reminisced about the hit TV show that made him famous as hunky drug lord Russell "Stringer" Bell.

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"Season 1 was sort of like a sleeper hit," he said. "People were like, 'Have you seen this show? It's kind of interesting.' Especially in the African American community, 'cause it was, you know, that first season was centered around the Barksdales in Baltimore. By Season 3, it was up there with The Sopranos as a show that everyone was watching ... People continue to discover it to this day."
 

 

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Dave Chappelle (left), Elaine Chappelle (center), and supermodel Naomi Campbell (right) attended the Menswear Dior Fall/Winter 2022/2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week in Paris, France.

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Dave Chappelle and his wife Elaine in a rare outing together at the Menswear Dior Fall/Winter 2022/2023 show in Paris.

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Fashion model, activist, and single mom Naomi Campbell attended the Menswear Dior Fall/Winter 2022/2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week in Paris, France.

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Reggaeton singer J. Balvin and his girlfriend Valentina Ferrer attended the Menswear Dior Fall/Winter 2022/2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week in Paris, France. They welcomed their first child in June 2021.

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Dave Chappelle refuses to bend to demands from a group of transgender Netflix employees.

The comedian's representatives announced he would meet with the employees after refusing to meet with them for weeks.

Chappelle joked he will meet with the Netflix employees - if they admit lesbian comedienne Hannah Gadsby isn't funny.

Hannah is a male-identified lesbian who criticized Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos after he defended Chappelle's Netflix special, The Closer.

The controversial comic, who is currently on a 10-city comedy tour, shared a video to Instagram from his Nashville show, in which he addressed the Netflix employees directly.

"To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience, but you will not summon me. I am not bending to anybody's demands," the Emmy winner says in the five-minute Instagram clip. Comments on the post appear to have been turned off.

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He added:

"And if you want to meet with me, I'd be more than willing to, but I have some conditions. First of all, you cannot come if you have not watched my special from beginning to end. You must come to a place of my choosing at a time of my choosing, and thirdly, you must admit that Hannah Gadsby is not funny."

In the Instagram video, Chappelle said he was disinvited from film festivals following The Closer backlash.

"Thank God for Ted Sarandos and Netflix, he's the only one that didn't cancel me yet."

According to a source who was at the Nashville show, Dave started his set with a "statement" to those he'd offended, jokingly pulling out a piece of paper and reading "F**k y'all, n**gas!" TMZ reported.

Chappelle will air a documentary, "Untitled," during his tour stops in 10 cities, including Atlanta on Nov. 21.
 

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Dave Chappelle has agreed to sit down with transgender employees at Netflix who staged a walkout near the company's Los Angeles headquarters on Wednesday.

Chappelle, 48, came under fire for transgender jokes in his Netflix comedy special, The Closer.

He remained silent as LGBT+ activists on both sides protested and defended his comedy special.

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Dave now says he is willing to sit down at the table with Netflix employees who feel he caused harm to transgender people with his off-color jokes.

The comedian's rep tells TMZ that Dave is open to dialogue if Netflix employees reach out to him for a discussion.

Dave's camp says no one from Netflix has approached Chappelle or his team about setting up a meeting, which conflicts with what Netflix employees claim.

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Activist Ashlee Marie Preston (pictured) claims Chappelle rejected an invitation to meet with the transgender employees.

As TMZ reported, Preston invited Chappelle to come to the table to talk about the damage he's inflicted on the LGBTQ+ community, but "Dave chose not to show up."

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Dave's camp says he's open to dialogue with any group, as he points out in his Netflix special jokes.

Dave made the point in his special, that empathy should go both ways and that transgenders should stop "punching down" on his people.

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The Netflix employee walkout is happening now outside Netflix's Los Angeles headquarters in protest over Dave Chappelle's comedy special.

Hundreds of employees walked out of Netflix's headquarters on Wednesday, Oct. 20. The protesters are angry over Chappelle's transgender jokes in his comedy special The Closer.
 

 

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"Transphobia is not a joke," said Ashlee Marie Preston (pictured), who organized the walkout.

"We're up against the emergence of hate economy. And there is this manipulation of algorithmic science that distorts the way that we perceive ourselves and others. And I think that companies like Netflix, Facebook, and Instagram, they play into it, and they monetize on it. And so I think that this is important to show up today."

Preston invited Chappelle to meet with them before the walkout, but he refused.

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Chappelle's transgender supporters tried to disrupt the protest.

Counter protesters held up signs reading "Jokes Are Funny," and "Netflix Don't Cancel Free Speech."

"We are protesting this walkout. They have the right to do it, but we have the right to standup for Dave Chappelle and his freedom of expression," said Gigi LaRoux, a transgender Chappelle supporter.

"This boils down to equality, and if people want equality they need to be put on the same level as anybody else. Comedians are equal opportunity destroyers. You can't pick and choose who you're going to make fun of."

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos walked back memos he sent to staff in support of Chappelle.

"I can tell you I screwed up those two communications, but my stance hasn't changed," Sarandos said in a phone interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Sarandos said he should have acknowledged that "a group of our employees were in pain" and "hurt" by the company's decision to air the special.

"I'd say those emails lacked humanity, in which I like to and I do generally communicate with our teams," he added.
 

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Ted Sarandos apologized for internal memos to his staff about Dave Chappelle ahead of a planned walkout by 1,000 Netflix employees on Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Sarandos previously insisted he wouldn't remove Chappelle's hit comedy special, The Closer, despite outrage from transgender employees over Chappelle's transgender jokes.

"I can tell you I screwed up those two communications, but my stance hasn't changed," the Netflix co-CEO said in a phone interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Sarandos said he should have acknowledged that "a group of our employees were in pain" and "hurt" by the company's decision to air the special.

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"I'd say those emails lacked humanity, in which I like to and I do generally communicate with our teams," said Sarandos who is married to Nicole Avant, former U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas.

"...this is the problem when you have a leaked email out of context, is it's part of a conversation already in progress, and that line of causing harm in the real world was way over simplistic and talking about something very specific that we were talking about earlier that day."

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Sarandos reiterated that Chappelle's comedy special - for which the comedian was paid $24.1 million - was in line with Netflix's stringent policy on harmful content.

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The Netflix chief (right) said he didn't think it would be "appropriate" for him to add a disclaimer about harmful content before airing Chappelle's special.

"The content is age restricted already for language, and Dave himself gives a very explicit warning at the beginning of the show, so I don't think it would be appropriate in this case."

He continued:

"But I do think that the inclusion of the special on Netflix is consistent with our comedy offering, it's consistent with Dave Chappelle's comedy brand and this is ... one of those times when there's something on Netflix that you're not going to like."

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Netflix fired a longtime employee who leaked the amount that the company paid Dave Chappelle for his controversial comedy special The Closer.

The employee was let go after they leaked that Netflix paid Chappelle $24.1 million for The Closer and $23.6 million for his 2019 comedy special Sticks & Stones.

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By comparison, Netflix spent $21.4 million for Squid Game, which is Netflix's biggest series launch ever.

A spokesperson for the company announced on Friday:

"We have let go of an employee for sharing confidential, commercially sensitive information outside the company."

The job termination comes amid ongoing tensions over transgender jokes Chappelle told in The Closer.

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Netflix's co-CEO Ted Sarandos, pictured with his wife Nicole Avant, previously said he would not pull The Closer off the air after three employees were suspended for crashing an annual meeting of Netflix's top directors.

The three employees were reinstated this week. However, Netflix's transgender employees plan to strike on Oct. 20.

Netflix's other co-CEO Reed Hastings told angry staff "We are on the right side of history" in a post on an internal message board.

Lesbian comedian Hannah Gadsby wrote an open letter to Sarandos on Instagram slamming him for using her name to defend Chappelle.

"F**k you and your amoral algorithm cult..." she wrote.

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A group of Netflix transgender employees plan to strike next week in protest of Dave Chappelle's "The Closer" comedy special.

Netflix has lifted the suspension of three employees, including a male-to-female transgender, who protested Chappelle's comedy special on social media.

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Netflix software engineer Terra Field, an MtF transgender, has been reinstated along with two other employees.

Prior to the suspension, Field wrote a lengthy Twitter thread on Oct. 9, complaining about Chappelle's Netflix special.

The three employees were suspended for crashing an annual directors meeting to complain about Chappelle at the company headquarters in San Francisco.

Netflix invites 500 top employees to the annual meeting, but Field and the other two workers were not invited.

Field tweeted the reinstatement notice on Tuesday.

"Our investigation did not find that you joined the QBR meeting with any ill intent and that you genuinely didn't think there was anything wrong with seeking access to this meeting."

Field added, "At the very least, I feel vindicated."

A transgender employee resource group at Netflix plans to walk off the job on October 20th to protest statements made by Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos regarding Chappelle.

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Sarandos, pictured with his wife Nicole Avant, denied suspending the three employees for complaining about Chappelle.

Sarandos added he will not pull Chappelle's comedy special off the air.

In an internal memo, the trans resource group ERG wrote:

"Trans Lives Matter. Trans Rights Matter. And as an organization, Netflix has continually failed to show deep care in our mission to Entertain the World by repeatedly releasing content that harms the Trans community and continually failing to create content that represents and uplifts Trans content. We can and must do better!"

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Flame Monroe rushed to defend fellow comedian Dave Chappelle following outrage over his Netflix comedy special, The Closer.

Flame -- a Black trans comic -- tells TMZ he's not in favor of taking Dave's new Netflix special off the air - because in the world of comedy, nothing is off-limits.

Dave cracking jokes over the LGBTQ+ community is fair game, says Flame, and should NOT be censored in the slightest.

"So as a comedian I believe that I don't want to be censored," Flame tells TMZ.

"I think that nothing is off limits and I think the social climate right now and the temperament started way back with Norman Lear, who had his finger on the pulse many years ago."

Flame went on to explain that Lear took risks with his television shows, such as Good Times and The Jeffersons, which tackled social issues such as racism and intolerance.

"The world has become too censored," said Flame.

"As a comedian, I don't want to be censored. As a trans woman, I want equality. And as a Black person, I want fair treatment in this country that we've been trying to get for 400 years."

Comedian Damon Wayans praised Chappelle for freeing comedian slaves who worried about being canceled.

Flame goes further by praising Chappelle as "great," while also saying he believes Chappelle has brought people together in a much needed way -- to create open dialogue.

Flame said, "I absolutely do not think the special should be taken off of Netflix... There is no topic that should be off limits."
 

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Netflix bosses are standing by comedian Dave Chappelle and his controversial new comedy special, "The Closer."

The streaming service defended its decision not to pull The Closer, and suspended an MtF trans employee who spoke out against it.

Co-CEO Ted Sarandos insisted he won't remove the hit comedy special, despite outrage from LGBT+ rights and transgender activists, who accused Chappelle of going too far.

A company source revealed that three Netflix employees have been suspended for crashing a quarterly directors meeting to complain, WENN.com reported.

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One of the suspended employees, Terra Field, a senior software engineer at Netflix, crashed a director-level meeting at the San Francisco headquarters to complain about The Closer.

Netflix invites 500 of its top employees to the annual meeting, however, Field's name was not on the invite list.

On Oct. 6, Field wrote a lengthy Twitter thread about The Closer and included transphobic tweets from other Twitter users.

Serandos told The Hollywood Reporter that Field and the other two employees were not suspended for speaking out on social media.

"It is absolutely untrue to say that we have suspended any employees for tweeting about this show. Our employees are encouraged to disagree openly and we support their right to do so."

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Sarandos defended Chappelle and his new special in an internal memo to Netflix staff and talent:

"Some talent may join third parties in asking us to remove the show in the coming days, which we are not going to do.

"Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long standing deal with him... As with our other talent, we work hard to support their creative freedom - even though this means there will always be content on Netflix some people believe is harmful, like Cuties, 365 Days, 13 Reasons Why or My Unorthodox Life.

Serandos continued:

"Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate. We don't allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don't believe The Closer crosses that line. I recognize, however, that distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries. Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean-spirited but our members enjoy it, and it's an important part of our content offering."

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Fellow comedian Damon Wayans praised Chappelle for freeing comedian "slaves."

"The comedians. We were slaves to PC culture," Wayans told TMZ. "As an artist, he's Van Gogh with his ear off. He's trying to tell us, 'It's okay.'"