Comedian Earthquake is weighing in on the events that unfolded during Dave Chappelle’s set at the Netflix Is a Joke Festival on Tuesday night.
Earthquake, 58, also performed at Tuesday’s show, where Chappelle was was attacked by a man who rushed the stage.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Earthquake says, “It was a fantastic night, an epic night. The lineup was great and I congregated with all of the people at the show. The festival itself was a real first time that comedians got to be together in complete diversity.”
Sharing details of the attack and saluting Chappelle’s response, Earthquake adds, “We were about to do a curtain call and this guy tackled Dave like he played for the Rams! Dave held his own and unfortunately security had to handle it. It stalled the night, but didn’t stop it. The night went on. Dave handled it like a pro. He is one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever met in my life. I’ve known him for 30 years. He’s a master at his craft.”
“It all amounts to this: people are really trying to silence our voice,” Earthquake says.
The incident occurred toward the end of Chapelle’s performance when a man in a black hoodie rushed the stage at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, PEOPLE confirmed on Wednesday.
The man appeared to push Chappelle, knocking him to the ground. The attacker then attempted to flee, but was stopped by security guards and members of Chappelle’s team. The comedian nor his security team were injured.
Police have identified the alleged attacker as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee and charged Lee with felony assault with a deadly weapon, PEOPLE confirmed. He is being held in the custody of the LAPD’s Hollywood Division on a $30,000 bond. It was not immediately clear if he had retained a lawyer.
Deal or No Deal host and fellow comedian Howie Mandel also shared his thoughts on the attack with Extra‘s Billy Bush on Wednesday.
“That hit… no pun intended… that hit very deeply,” Mandel, 66, said, later adding, “Watching what happened to Dave last night confirmed my fear. I was watching it kind of live on Twitter and I turned to my wife and I said, ‘I don’t want to. I don’t want to go on stage. I’m just really afraid.’ ”
When Bush asked Mandel, who currently hosts Bullsh*t: The Game Show on Netflix, what his plans are for future comedy tours, the game show host replied in part, “The love of what we do is fading… joking now has no safety net.”
“I’m actually going to do less because the love is not as fervent as it was, you know… six months ago,” the America’s Got Talent judge continued. “Because fear overtakes… and I’m a guy who, you know, lives with worry anyway… I’ve been open about my mental health. I am neurotic. I suffer from depression.”
The attack comes five weeks after Chris Rock was smacked across the face by Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars, after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. (Pinkett Smith, 50, has been open about living with alopecia.)
Rock, 57, was also present at Tuesday night’s show and performed earlier in the evening. Rock sprung into action to help Chappelle and said after the incident “I thought that was Will Smith!” Chappelle had also ended his set making jokes involving Smith, PEOPLE confirmed.[via]