NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 18: Actor/comedian Kevin Hart attends the Netflix's "True Story" New York Screening at the Whitby Hotel on November 18, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
Kevin Hart On Dave Chappelle Attack: "It's Time to Get Back to a Place of Respect"
"We've now lost sight of the relationship of audience to comedian," Kevin Hart said following Dave Chappelle being attacked onstage this week.
Kevin Hart is the latest celebrity to weigh in on the attack of Dave Chappelle this week during the Netflix Is a Joke Fest. During a guest appearance yesterday on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Hart and guest host Mike Birbiglia spoke of the incident where Hart admitted that, although he wasn't scared, he is glad a message is being sent to others: "Somebody getting their ass whipped sends a message out to other people that was like, 'You know, I was thinking about doing that, but seeing that, I don't really want to do that."
Kevin's call for respect towards comedians and craft comes just a day after Netflix issued a statement for the protection of the entertainers. Dave Chappelle's spokesperson also issued a statement which praised Chappelle's accomplishment at the Hollywood Bowl and not allowing the singular incident to overshadow the event. Hart also took time during his appearance to applaud the comedian for his professionalism despite the attack.
"Dave went back after that and finished doing the show. Quickly moved on from it and got back to doing comedy, and that's what a professional does. Ultimately, these moments of unprofessionalism should not break professionals."
Chappelle was performing Tuesday when the suspect, later identified as Isaiah Lee, rushed the stage and tackled him to the ground before pointing a replica firearm at the famed star. Lee was immediately arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. While L.A. County District Attorney's Office has declined to pursue felony charges, they have filed four misdemeanor charges against the 23 year old who is currently being held on a 30k bond.
Since the attack, footage of the night has gone viral causing social media to explode with jokes. However, while Hart states that heckling is a longstanding part of comedy, there's become a blurred line between what is and isn't acceptable.
"It becomes a hard case of, why did you come? Why did you buy a ticket if that was your want or need? If you're coming, come to have a good time and enjoy the person that you saw. If you have no interest in that, you don't have to buy a ticket. You don't have to go."