Isaiah Lee, the guy accused of attempting to assassinate Dave Chappelle during his comedy show at the “Netflix is a Joke” festival in early May, has now spoken out about his motives. Lee also maintains he had no intention of hurting the comic.
Lee, 23, said that the comedian’s jokes on the LGBTQ+ community and homeless people “triggered” him in a jailhouse interview published on Sunday by The New York Post.
“I identify as bisexual… and I wanted him to know what he said was triggering,” Lee told the publication. “I wanted him to know that the next time he does a presentation, he should run it by those who might be affected.”
He claimed to have been homeless and was in the process of finding permanent residence when the incident occurred at the comedy festival.
Lee can be seen charging the comedian on stage
Lee can be seen charging the comedian on stage in video footage of the confrontation. He admitted to carrying a retractable knife that looked like a gun, but claimed he didn’t have it out when he got on stage and had no intention of using it against Chappelle.
“I’m also a single parent with a five-year-old son,” Lee told The New York Post, adding that homeless people endure “a battle” and that “I wanted Dave Chappelle to know it’s not a joke.”
Over the last year, Chappelle has received a lot of backlash for jokes he’s made against the LGBTQ+ community, especially the trans community. Both the comedian and Netflix, which produced the contentious stand-up special, have faced public outcry and widespread criticism.
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Lee, who faces four misdemeanour counts as a result of the incident, claimed that security at the event gave him two black eyes and broke his arm, and that “they spat on me and twisted me as if on purpose.”
Lee was arrested and charged with attempted murder after reportedly stabbing his roommate last year. After the video of the Chappelle altercation went public, the victim purportedly identified Lee as his assailant.