Did Will Smith’s slap lead to Dave Chapelle attack?


LOS ANGELES (NewsNation) — Less than two months after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars, another comedian has taken a hit.

The LAPD said Wednesday that it arrested the man who attacked comedian Dave Chappelle during a live performance at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday evening. His bond was set at $30,000.

The incident raises questions about stage security for high-profile celebrities.

All-star comedy panel George Wallace, Aries Spears, Rick Overton and Judy Gold spoke out on the matter during an appearance on NewsNation’s “Banfield.”

“I definitely think it is the venue’s responsibility,” said Gold, the author of “Yes, I Can Say That: When They Come for the Comedians, We Are All in Trouble.”

“That is like our office, that is where we go to work. And you should be able to provide a safe and pleasant, hopefully, space for us to perform our standup,” Gold added.

Comics being attacked in clubs does not happen frequently, but it’s nothing new.

“Comedians have been attacked physically since comedy existed. It’s just that when Will Smith did it, he finally gave it a commercial,” Spears said.

And Overton knows first-hand what it’s like to be attacked on stage.

“I think there has to be a boundary there, no matter what. And outrage alone should not be what you do. That’s what the exits are clearly marked for. That’s the other solution is you leave and you don’t come back,” Overton said.

“That is our job … is to say controversial things. But you got to be thinking like right now, after Will Smith and Chris Rock, and now last night, Dave Chappelle. I have already prepared, as you can see in my Twitter today, I’m now going to go out in a joke-mobile just like the Pope,” Wallace said.

“It’s really terrible what’s happening right here, but we got to keep laughing like David did. No, man, we can’t stop laughing. He can’t stop doing jokes. We cannot stop doing jokes no matter what,” Wallace added.

Rock appeared alongside Chappelle shortly after the attack and said “Was that Will Smith?” according to footage circulating on social media.

“All we want to do is make you laugh. That’s it. We are there to make you laugh. That’s the only reason we go on stage. It’s crazy. It is the venue’s responsibility” to provide security, Gold said.

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