Earlier this month, controversial comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked during his set at Netflix Is A Joke Festival at Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. His attacker, Isaiah Lee, a man from Los Angeles, has now revealed what prompted him to do so in a new interview.
Lee is currently held at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles on $30,000 bail. Lee told New York Post that his actions were provoked by Chappelle’s dumb and derogatory jokes toward the LGBTQ+ community and homelessness.
Lee, who identifies as a bisexual man, said, “I wanted him to know what he said was triggering. I wanted him to know that next time, he should consider first running his material by people it could affect.”
According to his brother, a single dad to a five-year-old son, Lee has allegedly struggled with mental health problems due to homelessness. The 23-year-old Isaiah Lee told the Post, “It’s a struggle, and I wanted Dave Chappelle to know it’s not a joke.”
Lee had knocked Chappelle backward after rushing onto the stage during the comedian’s set.
The security team apprehended Lee swiftly. He faced four misdemeanour charges, namely battery, possession of a deadly weapon with intent to assault, unlawfully trespassing a stage from the spectator area during a theatrical event and interfering with or delaying such an event with misconduct.
The police later confirmed that Lee had a replica gun and a real knife inside, although he did not wield them.
Chappelle revealed a few days later how he allegedly met Lee backstage to learn his intentions for the attack. Lee had reportedly responded by talking about his grandmother being forced out of her Brooklyn neighbourhood due to gentrification and how the “attack was meant to draw attention to her plight.”
However, Lee’s recent comments are contradictory to what Chappelle had to say.
While this is the first-ever physical assault on Chappelle, the comedian has faced a slew of negative comments and criticism due to his transphobic remarks during his 2021 Netflix stand-up special The Closer, which also prompted a mass-employee walkout at the Netflix headquarters in California. The comedian also faced backlash for allegedly nixing affordable housing plans in Yellow Springs, his Ohio hometown.