Dave Chappelle found himself in hot water for joking that the person who attacked him onstage during a live show was a “trans man,” because a number of upset fans took to social media afterward to slam the comedian over what they believed was yet another blatant display of transphobia.
During Chappelle’s show at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl Tuesday night, which was part of Netflix’s ongoing Is a Joke festival, a man armed with a fake gun rushed the stage and tackled the 48-year-old comic in the middle of his routine.
Moments after the assailant was removed from the stage by security, Chappelle – without missing a beat – turned to his audience and proclaimed, “It was a trans man!” while laughing about the incident.
But it didn’t take long for critics and detractors of Chappelle, who has come under fire in the past for his jokes regarding the transsexual and transgender community, to storm social media and call the comedian out for yet another instance of transphobia.
“Chappelle gets attacked and... In video footage after the attack, Chappelle is seen to recover his composure and joke, ‘It was a trans man,’” one angry individual tweeted after seeing a clip of the incident.
“Leave the trans community alone FFS - bullshit/words like this are why the trans community are the most victimised, assaulted and abused,” the person added.
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“If you think I'm going to feel sorry for that transphobe Dave Chappelle, please don't,” another upset critic wrote. “The moment security protects him from the attack, he immediately jokes it was a transgender man (it wasn't) – but it's clear he will continue to put a target on trans people regardless.”
“Nothing about the Dave Chappelle attack is fun. The attack itself. The beatdown. The ‘trans man’ quip. The reaction on twitter. It all just sucks,” yet another angry fan added.
Early Wednesday morning the Los Angeles Police Department revealed that the man who rushed the Hollywood Bowl stage and attacked Chappelle was a 23-year-old man named Isaiah Lee.
Lee was promptly arrested for assault with a deadly weapon after police found the fake gun he used in the attack also contained a real blade inside of it.
As RadarOnline.com reported, Chappelle’s “trans man” joke immediately after the attack – and the backlash he drew for the joke – is just the latest incident involving the comedian making jokes at the expense of the trans community.
Last year, the LGTBQ+ community called for the comedian’s Netflix special The Closer to be pulled from the streaming service platform after part of Chappelle’s routine focused on and joked about the differences the LGBTQ+ and black community experience in American society.
“In our country, you can shoot and kill a [n-word], but you better not hurt a gay person’s feelings,” he said after joking about J.K. Rowling’s own controversial comments regarding the trans community as well as an incident involving DaBaby fatally shooting a man in 2018.
“Dave Chappelle's brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities,” GLAAD said in a statement following the release of the controversial comedy special. “Negative reviews and viewers loudly condemning his latest special is a message to the industry that audiences don't support platforming anti-LGBTQ diatribes. We agree.”