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Man accused of attacking Dave Chappelle says he was ‘triggered’ by comedian’s anti-LGBTQ+ jokes

Rachel Badham May 23, 2022
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Dave Chappelle, left (Getty/Tim Nwachukwu) and Isaiah Lee, right (New York Post/David Buchan)

The man accused of Dave Chappelle on stage earlier this month has said he was “triggered” by the controversial comedian’s jokes about the LGBTQ+ community.

Isaiah Lee, 23, was charged on four counts, including battery and assault with a deadly weapon, after knocking down Chappelle during his performance for the Netflix is a Joke festival in Los Angeles on 3 May. He was carrying a replica gun that police revealed could “eject a knife blade”. 

Lee, who claims that he did not have the weapon out when he approached Chappelle, told The New York Post that he wanted the comedian to “know that next time, he should consider first running his material by people it could affect”, after he made jokes about the LGBTQ+ community and homelessness.

Lee added: “I identify as bisexual … and I wanted him to know what he said was triggering.”

He said that he did not enter the event with the intention to attack Dave Chappelle, but the “breaking point” came after another comedian at the event made a joke about pedophilia, which Lee said reminded him of a traumatic experience he endured as a teen.

Lee claims he was carrying the weapon for “protection”, as he is a “minor celebrity” rapper who goes by “NoName_Trapper”. 

After being restrained by Hollywood Bowl security at Netflix is a Joke, Lee was left with a broken arm and two black eyes.

“They spat on me and twisted me as if on purpose,” he claimed.

When asked about reports that he suffers from mental illness, Lee denied these claims. However, his lawyer has said that Lee is receiving support for his mental health. 

Lee, who has a five-year-old son, has already been charged with allegedly stabbing his roommate last year, meaning he could see “possibly 15 or more years in jail”, he told The New York Post. However, he said that he does not regret his actions as he felt that he made a stand for the LGBTQ+ community. 

Dave Chappelle has been facing searing backlash from the LGBTQ+ community after his Netflix special The Closer, in which he declared himself “team TERF” and defended JK Rowling while making jokes about trans women.

Following the attack at the festival, which left the comedian unharmed, Chappelle suggested to the audience that Lee “was a trans man”, referring to the times he has been accused of transphobia. 

Lee, who has pleaded not guilty to the stabbing charge, is due to return to court on 2 June.

More: Dave Chappelle, transphobia

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