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Dave Chappelle Attacked at ‘Netflix Is a Joke’ Fest; Chris Rock Jokes That Assailant was Will Smith

Stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle, who was called out last year for his transphobic remarks in a Netflix special, was attacked at the ‘Netflix Is a Joke’ festival on Tuesday.


Videos circulating on social media appear to show Chappelle giving his final commentary, when a person jumps on to the stage and runs towards him. “He tackled Dave and they both went to the floor and began wrestling when everyone ran onstage to help, including Dave’s security,” an attendee wrote on Twitter.

The unidentified person was grabbed by several people and was taken backstage. Chappelle returned shortly after, unhurt. He joked about the incident and said that it was trans man.

Comedian Chris Rock came up on stage following the incident, and alluding to his recent experience at the Oscars, jokingly asked, “Was that Will Smith?” Smith had slapped Rock at the Oscars after the latter had cracked a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s medical condition.

Aside from Rock, actor Jamie Foxx, who was also present at the show, climbed up on stage and Chappelle said, “Whenever you’re in trouble, Jamie Foxx will show up in a sheriff’s hat.”

In response, Foxx said, “I thought that was part of the show.” He went on to add, “Listen, I just want to say this man is an absolute genius. We’ve got to make sure we protect him at all times. For every comedian who comes out here, this means everything. You’re a genius. You’re a legend, and we’re not going to let nothing happen to you.”

Unverified clips of policemen escorting someone on stretcher to an ambulance are also doing rounds. Those sharing the clips claim that it was the attacker.


In October 2021, Chappelle came under fire for his transphobic remarks in his Netflix special, The Closer. He also referred to himself as being a part of ‘Team TERF’ (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist).

Throughout the performance, while Chappelle called himself and other cis heterosexual Black people as “Blacks,” he referred to the LGBTQIA+ individuals as “niggas”- an offensive term for Black people in America.

While he was called out by netizens and Netflix employees alike, Netlfix and its content head Ted Sarandos refused to censure Chappelle or take down his show.

Even though Sarandos later admitted to not having dealt with the matter well, Netflix went on to expand its collaboration with Chappelle and announced a new series of comedy specials with him.