On Tuesday, May 3rd, an attacker rushed Dave Chappelle on the stage of the Hollywood Bowl. Thankfully no one was injured but the details are somewhat bizarre and worth exploring.
Dave Chapelle was performing during the “Netflix is a Joke” festival when 23 year old Isaiah Lee joined him on stage. The man rushed at Chapelle but thankfully didn’t land a damaging blow. You can watch video of the attack here. Actor and comedian Jamie Foxx came out and tackled Lee and dealt him some serious damage. Lee left the venue in an ambulance on his way to the hospital and Chapelle jumped winsomely right back into his comedy routine. Lee is currently being held on a $30,000 bail.
Knife? Gun? What?
Isaiah Lee carried a weapon when he attacked Chappelle, but there was some controversy as to what he was armed with. He looked like he was carrying a gun. It turned out the gun was fake but that there was a real knife attached to it. TMZ reports that the gun was a replica of a semi-automatic that “weirdly had a knife attached to it.”
Flashback to the Oscars
Immediately after the attack, Actor and comedian Chris Rock joined Chappelle, embraced him, and quipped: “Was that Will Smith?” While definitely a funny quip, it draws attention to a discussion the two events are beginning to fuel. When Will Smith stepped up on the stage at the Oscars to slap Chris Rock, he made a statement. While opinions vary on justification, the following remains true. Will Smith endorsed responding to comedy with violence by his actions. One month later, this happens.
These two very different events have that one concerning common thread.
Why Lee is a Product of the Radical Left
This could be just a single isolated incident and we still don’t know the motivations. However, comedy has been changing for a while now along with our country as a whole. 51% of Americans support censorship on social media according to Pew data from 2020. That number is likely higher now. All the way back in 2018, the Independent treated it like a given that jokes shouldn’t be offensive. We all remember 2016 when mainstream media outlets endorsed violence against people they deemed offensive. So no, Lee’s behavior is par for the course.
In all honestly, any leftist who supports censorship and BLM is a hypocrite if they decry violence against comedians. Unfortunately we may see more like this, and it’ll leave the political left in a somewhat precarious position. This incident is part of a pattern regardless of his motivations. And it’s a patter we should not ignore.