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American comedian Dave Chappelle is facing strong criticism over a joke he made immediately after being attacked on stage during his stand-up set.
The comic was tackled to the ground last night (3 May) while delivering a routine as part of the ongoing 'Netflix is a Joke' comedy festival in Los Angeles.
Members of security quickly apprehended the man and he was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department, while Chappelle got back on his feet and apparently tried to make light of the situation by making a comment about his attacker.
With the intruder under control by security, Chappelle addressed the audience and joked: "It was a trans man."
The comedian apparently made the comment in reference to the fact he has previously caused controversy for remarks about the LGBTQ+ community, having described himself in his Netflix special The Closer as 'team Terf' (Trans-exclusionary radical feminist).
In the special, which was released on Netflix in October 2021, Chappelle said: "They canceled JK Rowling – my God. Effectually she said gender was fact, the trans community got mad as sh*t, they started calling her a Terf … I’m team Terf...
Chappelle has not spoken out about the attack since it took place on Tuesday, but members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community have condemned the comment he made after the attack.
One Twitter user accused Chappelle of encouraging discrimination against transgender people, writing: "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."
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— Älia Meth (@AeliaMeth) May 4, 2022
Another commented: "Dave Chappelle was attacked by an armed man in LA. In response to this he said (to much laughter) “It was a TRANS MAN!” Making light of the recent stand-up he did. I just want to cry. He did it. He normalised transphobia and his fans love it. I can’t anymore."
The man involved in the attack, identified as a 23-year-old named Isaiah Lee, was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and transported to a local hospital after the incident.
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