SUSPECT IN CUSTODY IN DAVE CHAPPELLE ATTACK
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Police in Los Angeles have the man. They have the weapon. And they have witnesses. But so far, they don’t have a motive in the attack on comedian Dave Chappelle. They say 23-year-old Isaiah Lee was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. He’s being held on $30,000 bond – and it’s unclear whether he has someone to represent him. Police say he rushed the stage at the Hollywood Bowl near the end of Chappelle’s show Tuesday night and tried to tackle him. The comedian wasn’t hurt and went on to finish his show. But the man was taken to the hospital for what appeared on bystander video to be an arm injury. Police say the man was carrying a fake handgun with a knife blade that folded out. But it’s unclear why he decided the go after Chappelle.
NETFLIX ISSUES STATEMENT
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Dave Chappelle was performing in Los Angeles as part of a comedy tour for Netflix. And the streaming company is out with a statement in support for him. It says, “We care deeply about the safety of creators and we strongly defend the right of stand-up comedians to perform on stage without fear of violence.” Netflix has been under fire about remarks Chappelle has made about transgendered persons – remarks some LGBTQ backers consider hateful. There have been protests at the company’s headquarters and calls for Chappelle’s shows to be dropped. After the ruckus at Tuesday’s show died down, Chappelle joked that the attacker “was a trans man.”
CHAPPELLE’S PUBLICIST RESPONDS TO ATTACK
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The publicist for Dave Chappelle says the attack on him was “unfortunate and unsettling.” But Carla Sims says Chappelle won’t let the incident “overshadow the magic” of his shows at the Hollywood Bowl for “Netflix Is a Joke.” In her statement, Sims lauded her client for finishing the show after the incident. Chappelle was attacked as he wrapped up a routine in which he said comedians have to worry about their security after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars for poking fun at his wife. Ironically, Rock was at the Chappelle show Tuesday night. After the incident, he grabbed a mic and jokingly asked, “Was that Will Smith?”
AMBER HEARD TESTIFIES SHE COULDN’T LEAVE DEPP, EVEN AFTER ABUSE
FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) – Amber Heard says she knew she should have left Johnny Depp the first time he hit her, but couldn’t bring herself to do it. Speaking to jurors in her defense against a libel suit Depp filed against her, Heard said she heard in “the health class videos” that if one forgives an abuser, it’s likely to happen again. After the first incident, Heard said Depp returned, apologized, brought cases of her favorite wine – and promised it wouldn’t happen again. Heard says she “wanted to believe him” so she “chose to.” Depp is suing Heard for an op-ed in The Washington Post in which she calls herself as a victim of domestic violence. Depp denies it all.
SUMMER MOVIES TO FEATURE GIG STARS – BUT…
UNDATED (AP) – It’s as much a summertime activity as going to a ballgame or the beach: going to a movie to catch the latest Hollywood blockbuster. This summer, the movie industry will roll out some of its biggest stars after two years of pandemic concerns kept theaters closed or lacking customers. The summer season will feature reliable movie performers like Tom Cruise, Natalie Portman, Jordan Peele – and the crew trying to keep the dinosaurs in check at “Jurassic Park.” But are fans ready to return, after seeing so many releases on streaming the past two years? Jim Orr, head of domestic distribution for Universal Pictures, hopes so. He says Hollywood is “still waiting for older audiences to come back” – but says overall, “it really feels like we’ve turned a corner” when it comes to people going back to theaters.
ARIANA DEBOSE TO HOST TONY AWARDS
NEW YORK (AP) – She already has a Oscar and a Tony. Now, Ariana DeBose adds another feather to her cap with word that she will host the Tony Awards this year. The star of “West Side Story” will take the reins of the show June 12 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The show will air live on CBS – and stream on Paramount+. The streaming service will also carry an hour-long pre-show.