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Dave Chappelle’s accused attacker reveals his motives

Isaiah Lee, 23, said he was triggered by Dave Chapelle’s jokes about the LGBTQ community and homelessness

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Dave Chappelle was tackled during a performance at the Hollywood Bowl Tuesday, May 3, 2022.

Dave Chappelle appears during the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Oct. 30, 2021, in Cleveland. Chappelle was tackled during a performance at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday, May 3, 2022. Security guards chased and overpowered the attacker, and Chappelle was able to continue his performance while the man was taken away in an ambulance.

David Richard, Associated Press

The man accused of attacking Dave Chappelle at the Netflix Is a Joke festival earlier this month spoke out about why he did it.

Isaiah Lee, who was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, told the New York Post in a jailhouse interview that the comedian should practice being more “sensitive” when it comes to performing a set on stage.

“I identify as bisexual … and I wanted him to know what he said was triggering,” Lee said. “I wanted him to know that next time, he should consider first running his material by people it could affect.”

What provoked him?

Although Lee expected to have a “good time” at the show, he quickly became frustrated as the comic brought up homelessness and the previous controversy related to the LGBTQ community.

The 23-year-old single dad said he was homeless at one point in his life. “It’s a struggle and I wanted Dave Chappelle to know it’s not a joke.”

Videos on social media from the incident showed a man running onto the stage, proceeding to tackle Chapelle, as I previously reported for the Deseret News.

Hollywood Bowl security officers got a hold of the man and took him into custody, the Los Angeles Police Department said. Lee had a replica handgun that contained a knife blade, per NBC News.

Dave Chappelle saga continues

This interview comes as the internet reacts to comedian John Mulaney bringing on Chappelle as a surprise opener over the weekend. Tweets about the no phones allowed show criticized Chappelle for telling “transphobic jokes,” according to Variety.

“I can’t express how much I wish I could have just turned off his mic,” said one Twitter user, thanking those who booed the comedian after he told certain jokes.

Many users came to Chappelle’s defense. One said, “We’re not cancelling him,” while another called him the “G.O.A.T.” (Greatest of all time).

The wisecrack in question? “Apparently the joke Dave Chappelle said that is causing people to fall on their fainting couches is him saying he was attacked with a gun that identified as a knife,” another Twitter user chimed in.

A pattern

This isn’t the first time the comedian has faced backlash and stepped into the “controversy” limelight.

Last year, Netflix employees walked out during work hours to protest Chapelle’s comedy special, which included offensive remarks against the transgender and LGBTQ+ community, as the Deseret News previously reported.