Dave Chappelle Hollywood Bowl Attacker Sues Venue and Security for Battery and Negligence

The comedian is not named in the lawsuit

Don Arnold/Getty Images for Pilot Boy

Isaiah Lee, the man who attacked Dave Chappelle onstage at the Hollywood Bowl in 2022, has sued the venue and its security for battery and negligence. In legal documents obtained by TheWrap, Lee identifies himself as bisexual and claims he “became upset by the discriminatory nature of the comedian’s jokes and rushed the stage in protest as the show ended.” As a result, he added, Doe 1 Security Company “began beating” him “ruthlessly.”

Lee goes on to allege that security officers spat on him and dislocated his arm. He further alleged that Doe 1 Security Company “allowed members of the comedian’s entourage, encouraged by the comedian, to beat Lee” and security “took no action to prevent or stop the assault on Lee.”

The complaint also claimed that the venue knew about the offensive nature of some of Chappelle’s jokes but “took no measures to prevent or mitigate the potential harm caused by such offensive material.”

Lee is not suing Chappelle himself.

The comedian continued his set after the attack and even joked about it afterward. The attack took place during the Netflix is a Joke Festival in Los Angeles. KABC helicopter video later showed Lee being taken away by medical staff on a gurney. Lee, who was carrying a makeshift knife that looked like a gun, was later booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

Months later, Chappelle defended transphobic jokes from his stand-up in the Netflix special “What’s in a Name?”. He said, “The more you say I can’t say something, the more urgent it is for me to say it. And it has nothing to do with what you’re saying I can’t say. It has everything to do with my right, my freedom, of artistic expression. That is valuable to me.”


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