Chappelle's Alleged Attacker: Show Was 'Triggering'

Isaiah Lee tells 'New York Post' jokes about LGBTQ and homelessness set him off
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2022 1:25 PM CDT

Isaiah Lee went to the “Netflix Is a Joke” show on May 3 expecting to have fun, but he says he was “triggered” by jokes he heard about the LGBTQ community and homelessness. In a jailhouse interview with the New York Post, the 23-year-old—who allegedly attacked comedian Dave Chappelle on stage at the Hollywood Bowl—said, “I identify as bisexual … and I wanted him to know what he said was triggering. … Next time, he should consider first running his material by people it could affect.” Lee also said he has experienced homelessness, and he insisted that he never intended to harm anyone.

Lee said he reached a “breaking point” during the show when another comedian joked about pedophilia, which in turn triggered memories of being molested at age 17. Asked why he had a replica pistol with a retractable blade, he said he always carries it for protection because he is a “minor celebrity” based on his rapping career. Per the Post, Lee’s arm is still in a sling, having been broken when he was subdued backstage. Lee said reports about his mental health issues were “wrong” and “inaccurate,” though his lawyer said he is receiving mental health services.

Lee faces four misdemeanor counts for the alleged attack on Chappelle, and he is separately accused of an earlier crime of stabbing his roommate at a homeless shelter last December. Chappelle, meanwhile, made headlines of his own when he emerged as the surprise opener Friday night for John Mulaney in Columbus, Ohio, reports BuzzFeed. Some attendees, however, were none to happy because they say that Chappelle made trans and anti-gay jokes and that they would not have paid to attend had they known he was performing.

(More Dave Chappelle stories.)

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