Updated as of 4p.m.ET on 5/5/2022: The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has revealed it’s declining to pursue felony charges against 23-year-old Isaiah Lee, the man who allegedly attacked comedian Dave Chappelle during his performance at the Netflix Is A Joke Festival at the Hollywood Bowl in LA earlier this week.
In a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter, the DA’s office explained:
“After reviewing the evidence, prosecutors determined that while criminal conduct occurred, the evidence as presented did not constitute felony conduct,” a spokesperson for the department said in a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter. “The District Attorney’s Office does not prosecute misdemeanor crimes within the city of Los Angeles.”
As THR also notes, the DA is now referring the case to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, where it will consider possible misdemeanor charges.
See original story below:
On Wednesday, we told you about how Dave Chappelle was attacked onstage during the Netflix Is a Joke Festival taking place at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Though Chappelle and other comedians (looking at you Chris Rock) quipped about the incident in the immediate aftermath, the “controversial” 48-year-old and Netflix have now officially responded to the matter.
In a statement given to The Hollywood Reporter, Chappelle’s rep Carla Sims made it clear that despite the unfortunate event going down, the focus should instead be on the “magic of the historic moment”—and cited the fact that her client set record-breaking sales for a comedian at the Hollywood Bowl.
“The performances by Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl were epic and record-breaking and he refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment,” Sims said on Wednesday. “Dave Chappelle celebrated four nights of comedy and music, setting record-breaking sales for a comedian at the Hollywood Bowl. This run ties Chappelle with Monty Python for the most headlined shows by any comedian at the Hollywood Bowl, reaching 70,000 fans of diverse backgrounds during the first Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival.”
She continued: “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, aka 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.”
Netflix also released a statement saying, “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.”
As additionally noted by Reuters, the accused attacker, 23-year-old Isaiah Lee, was later charged on Wednesday with felony assault with a deadly weapon. Per a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson, Lee allegedly had a replica handgun containing a knife blade on his person when he attacked Chappelle. Representatives for the Hollywood Bowl have said the incident is under investigation and have declined to further comment.
As of Wednesday, Lee remains jailed with a bail set at $30,000. While a motive is unknown at this time, per the Daily Beast, the young aspiring rapper released a song titled “Dave Chappell” back in 2020 but the lyrical content doesn’t appear to point to any ill-intent.