Isaiah Lee — the man accused of trying to attack Dave Chappelle during his comedy set at the “Netflix is a Joke” festival in early May — is finally speaking out about the reasons behind his actions. Lee also claims that he never intended to actually harm the comedian.
Lee, 23, spoke with The New York Post in a jailhouse interview published on Sunday, and claimed that he felt “triggered” by the comedian’s jokes about the LGBTQ+ community and homeless people.
“I identify as bisexual … and I wanted him to know what he said was triggering,” Lee, who is currently in custody at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles, told the publication. “I wanted him to know that next time, he should consider first running his material by people it could affect.”
Lee claims that he has been homeless, and was in the process of trying to secure permanent housing when the incident at the comedy festival occurred.
The altercation was captured on video, and Lee can be seen charging the comedian on stage. Lee admitted to carrying a retractable knife that was made to resemble a gun, but claims he did not have it out when he went on stage and had no intention of using it on Chappelle.
“I’m also a single dad and my son is five,” Lee told The New York Post, adding that people who live without housing face “a struggle” and “I wanted Dave Chappelle to know it’s not a joke.”
Chappelle has faced a great deal of criticism over the past year for jokes he made regarding the LGBTQ+ community — particularly the trans community. The comedian and Netflix, which produced the controversial stand-up special, have both faced public protest and high-profile criticism.
Lee — who is now facing four misdemeanor counts stemming from the altercation — alleges that security at the event gave him two black eyes and broke his arm, and claims, “They spat on me and twisted me as if on purpose.”
Following his arrest, Lee was then accused of allegedly trying to stab his roommate last year, and is now facing a charge of attempted murder. The victim allegedly identified Lee as his attacker after the footage of the Chappelle altercation went viral.
For more on the incident, see the video below.
Source: ET Online