US comedian Dave Chappelle has been attacked on stage at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles by an assailant who tackled him to the ground before being apprehended and arrested.
The New York Times reported Chappelle, 48, left the stage following the attack but returned to finish his act and appeared to be uninjured.
An agent and public relations representative for Chappelle did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It was not immediately clear what motivated the attack.
A Los Angeles Police Department official identified the suspect as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee, who was being held in jail on a $US30,000 bond after being charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon.
Lee had a replica gun that contained a knife blade when he attacked Chappelle, the official said.
Video footage posted on Twitter, verified by Reuters, showed the attacker running onto the stage and launching his upper body into Chappelle, slamming his shoulder into the comedian’s ribs and chest.
After the initial contact, the assailant and Chappelle took several steps before both fell to the floor, the video showed.
The assailant then stood up and ran around the stage, dodging a swarm of people for several seconds before being tackled.
Chappelle was performing at the venue along with other comedians as part of an 11-day comedy festival called Netflix is a Joke.
The attack occurred just over a month after actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars, an unprecedented incident at the globally televised event that prompted concerns performers might face copycat assaults.
Smith, who won the best actor award, was subsequently banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years. The actor issued statements apologising to Rock, the Oscars producers, nominees and viewers after the incident.
According to an ABC News report, Rock, who had performed at the event earlier in the evening, joined Chappelle on stage moments after the attack took place and joked, “Was that Will Smith?”
After Chapelle got attacked, Chris Rock came on stage and hit us with possibly the joke of the year “was that Will Smith?” pic.twitter.com/ldWQ3h0eln
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) May 4, 2022
Brianna Sacks, a journalist for BuzzFeed News who attended the event, said the altercation took place as Chappelle ended his performance.
Chappelle’s Netflix comedy special The Closer was criticised last year by some who saw it as ridiculing transgender people. Supporters of the comedian viewed it as a cry against ‘cancel culture’.
A representative for the Hollywood Bowl said the incident was under investigation, declining to comment further.