Dave Chappelle Attacker Sentenced to Nine Months in Jail

The controversial comedian was tackled mid-performance at the Netflix Is a Joke Festival in May

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Dec 15, 2022

So the prophecy foretold: we will indeed never know peace in the news cycle surrounding famous transphobe Dave Chappelle in the year of our Lord 2022. 

Remember back in May when the controversial comedian was attacked onstage at the Hollywood Bowl during the Netflix Is a Joke Festival? And Chris Rock immediately made a Will Smith joke about it? If you could distill the year in pop culture down to one moment, it might be this. Anyway, Chappelle's attacker, who was identified as 24-year-old Isaiah Lee, has now pleaded no contest and been sentenced to spend nine months in county jail, Deadline reports.

According to the Los Angeles City Attorney's office, Lee was charged with two misdemeanour counts: one of battery, and another of entering a restricted area during a live event. He's currently locked up on an unrelated charge, having allegedly stabbed his roommate at a transitional housing facility in 2021. Lee's lawyers advocated to place him in a pretrial intervention program, but the judge denied their request.

On May 3, the streaming giant's annual comedy festival saw Chappelle brought to the ground — but unharmed — when Lee stormed the stage. Lee was then quickly subdued by security. At the time, he allegedly told the comedian that he was trying to raise awareness about gentrification. (Um, okay?)

"I identify as bisexual… And I wanted him to know what he said was triggering," Lee admitted in a later interview with the New York Post"I wanted him to know that next time, he should consider first running his material by people it could affect," he said of the comic's jokes at the expense of the LGBTQ2S+ community.

"As unfortunate and unsettling as the incident was, Chappelle went on with the show," Chappelle's representatives said the day after the incident. "Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock helped calm the crowd with humour before Chappelle introduced the last and featured musical guests for the evening."

Netflix recently announced its plans to continue working with the comedian despite the backlash to his 2021 comedy special, The Closer, where he defended J.K. Rowling and openly called himself a TERF.

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