‘That man is obsessed’: Dave Chappelle criticised for joking that a ‘trans man’ attacked him on stage

Chappelle was performing as part of the ‘Netflix is a Joke’ comedy festival when a person charged at him on stage

Nicole Vassell
Wednesday 04 May 2022 11:18
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Dave Chappelle has been criticised for joking that the person who attacked him on stage was a trans man.

The comedian was performing as part of the Netflix is a Joke festival in Los Angeles on Wednesday (4 May) when an unnamed member of the audience tackled him.

According to eyewitnesses, Chappelle was knocked to the ground before security removed the attacker from the stage.

A video posted on TikTok showed Chris Rock then joining Chappelle on stage after security subdued the man and took him away. He could be heard asking “Was that Will Smith?” in reference to being slapped by the actor at the Oscars in March.

After thanking a member of security for their help during the clash, the comedian can be heard saying into the microphone: “It was a trans man.”

In response, some viewers have shared their upset at Chappelle’s decision to make the joke.

Noting some of the reactions to the incident so far, one person wrote on Twitter: “All these people leave out the fact Dave Chappelle joked that it was a ‘trans man’ that ran on stage to beat him when we don’t know who it was.

“All we know is that things are about to get worse in this country and have been getting worse for trans people and Dave encourages it.”

Tweets reacting to Dave Chappelle’s trans comment after attack

Another commenter added: “Dave Chappelle gets attacked on stage and the first thing he does is mention trans people. That man is obsessed.”

Another person remarked that the comedian seemed keen for an opportunity to talk about trans people: “An unidentified man tackles Chappelle. While the crowd celebrates the beat down of his attacker by security guards, Chappelle turns the communal celebration of violence to focus not on free speech but trans identity.”

Chappelle has previously made headlines for his remarks about transgender people in his standup shows. In October, a civil rights organisation called for his last special, The Closer, to be removed from Netflix for “perpetuating violence” against trans people.

In response to the criticism of his comments at the time, Chappelle doubled down on his stance in a video posted to social media: “To the transgender community, I am more than willing to give you an audience, but you will not summon me. I am not bending to anyone’s demands.”

The Independent has reached out to a representative for Dave Chappelle for comment.

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