Man Who Attacked Dave Chappelle Sues Hollywood Bowl, Security Company

Isaiah Lee, the man who attacked Dave Chappelle onstage at the Hollywood Bowl in 2022 and was arrested and jailed over the incident, is suing the venue and the security team it hired, Los Angeles’ ABC 7 reports.

The lawsuit, which was filed Friday, claims Hollywood Bowl’s security guards along with members of Chappelle’s team beat Lee “ruthlessly” after he jumped on the stage where Chappelle was performing during Netflix Is a Joke festival on May 3, 2022.

Lee, who identifies as bisexual, “became upset by the discriminatory nature” of Chappelle’s jokes that evening,” so he “rushed the stage in protest as the show ended,” according to the lawsuit. Per the suit, Lee was also offended by Chappelle’s jokes involving the homeless community; Lee has also experienced homelessness, as CBS News notes.

“In an act of protest, Mr. Lee tackled the comedian,” the court filings allege. 

The suit claims that rather than intervening when Chappelle’s entourage allegedly beat Lee, the venue’s security “allowed” them to attack him.

“These individuals spat on Lee and dislocated his arm intentionally,” the lawsuit alleges.

The assault, which was caught on video, shows Lee running on stage and tackling Chappelle as he’s speaking; security is then seen quickly rushing in after Lee.

Lee was arrested on charges of misdemeanor counts of battery and possession of a weapon with intent to assault (he was found to be in possession of replica gun that could eject a knife blade, according to authorities). He served jail time before being conditionally released in March to Lake Hughes Recovery Center in Gorman, California.


Chappelle was not injured during the incident. “I’ve been doing this for 35 years. I just stomped a n—a backstage,” Chappelle joked after the incident, according to attendee videos posted online at the time. “I’ve always wanted to do that.”

Chappelle has faced criticism for his jokes and commentary relating to the LGBTQ+ community, including transphobic jokes made during his specials, such as  in The Closer, which drew Netflix employees and allies to walkout in protest, and stand-up shows, which have also led to protests.