Kevin Hart: Dave Chappelle Attacker Getting His ‘A** Whooped’ Sends a Necessary Message to Others

Twitter/Jed Simon
Twitter/Jed Simon

Actor and veteran comedian Kevin Hart reacted to comedian Dave Chappelle getting physically attacked onstage during a performance in Los Angeles on Tuesday, saying it was good that the assailant got his “ass whooped,” because it “sends a message out to other people” looking to attack comedians.

“Somebody ran onstage and got their ass whooped,” Hart told guest host Mike Birbiglia Thursday on Jimmy Kimmel Live! after being asked he found the incident “scary.”

“Not scary,” Hart added. “It’s one of those things that needed to happen, though.”

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“Mike, do you want people to continue to think that they can cross that line and break the barrier of entertainer [and audience]?” Hart said after being asked to elaborate on why he thinks the aftermath needed to happen.

“Somebody getting their ass whooped sends a message out to other people that was like, ‘You know, I was thinking about doing that, but after seeing that, I don’t really want to do that,'” he continued.

Hart added that he thinks “the world that we’re in right now — there’s a lot of lines that have gotten blurred, and sometimes you gotta take a lot of steps backwards to take some steps forward.”

“It’s time to get back to a place of respect for your live entertainer and understand that you’re coming to a show,” Hart asserted.

The comedian explained:

Here’s what people have forgotten, in standup comedy: it’s always been the world of heckler and comedian. Comedian has always dealt with heckler. Heckler has always shouted out things, because he felt that he could. A comedian’s way to shut that down is to say things back. It wasn’t bullying. It wasn’t picking on. It was all done in fun.

We have now lost the sight of the relationship of audience to comedian. That line has gotten blurred to where it’s like, “Well, I don’t need to do this and like this, and I can stand up and make a point.” Well, it becomes a hard case of, well, why did you come? Why did you buy a ticket if that was your want or need?

“Respect the craft,” Hart implored. “Come and 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.”

Chappelle was attacked during his performance at the Hollywood Bowl — part of the inaugural Netflix Is A Joke comedy festival — by an onlooker who rushed the stage set and took him down in a flying tackle.

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The attack on Chappelle comes after actor Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage at this year’s Oscars after the comedian made a joke at the expense of his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

(ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Following the now-infamous slap, many suggested that Smith had set a precedent for other comedians on stage.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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