Deadline broke the news late last night that Dave Chappelle was attacked by a man while onstage at the Hollywood Bowl. Today, the comedian and Netflix, which produced the festival of which the show was a part, both issued press statements on the matter.
A Chappelle spokesperson sought to put the emphasis back on the comedian’s run of shows at the Bowl as part of the Neflix Is a Joke Festival.
“Dave Chappelle celebrated four nights of comedy and music, setting record-breaking sales for a comedian at the Hollywood Bowl,” read the statement. “This run ties Chappelle with Monty Python for the most headlined shows by any comedian at the Hollywood Bowl, reaching 70k fans of diverse backgrounds during the first Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival, and he refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment.”
The statement goes on, “As unfortunate and unsettling as the incident was, Chappelle went on with the show. Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock helped calm the crowd with humor before Chappelle introduced the last and featured musical guests for the evening, hip-hop artists yasiin bey and Talib Kweli, a.k.a. Black Star, who performed music from their new album – the first in nearly 24 years – which was released on Luminary. Other special comedic guests last night included Earthquake, Leslie Jones, Jeff Ross, Sebastian, Jon Stewart and Michelle Wolf.”
By all accounts, Foxx and Rock certainly helped calm the crowd — and subdue the attacker, in Foxx’s case.
Chappelle also tired to ease jangled nerves just before he left the stage — possibly to prevent violence from erupting among the understandably wound-up crowd — saying “Everybody compose yourselves.”
A Netflix spokesperson: “We care deeply about the safety of creators and we strongly defend the right of stand-up comedians to perform on stage without fear of violence.”