Will Smith Slap ‘Opened the Floodgates’ for Assaults on Comedians

Comic Howie Mandel believes Will Smith assaulting Chris Rock on the Oscars has made it open season on stand-up comics, citing the this week’s assault on Dave Chappelle on the Hollywood Bowl.

Howie Mandel stated in an interview with E! Information’ Day by day Pop that he’s now afraid to return to the stage.

“I was before even last night but last night kind of is my worst fear come true,” he stated, referring the the assault on Chappelle on the Bowl. “Not to comment on what happened at the Academy Awards, but I thought that that opened the floodgates for people.”

He added: “We’re already as comedians being attacked as far as being canceled for something that you don’t like, something that you find offensive, something that you think is too soon. And then you saw what happened at the Academy Awards.”

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Mandel even predicted that Will Smith’s actions might deliver concerning the finish of stand-up comedy.

“Violence triggers violence. And I think this is the beginning of the end for comedy. I really believe that,” he stated. “I’ve been in the business for 45 years and my biggest fear is that you wouldn’t laugh and that there’d be silence. There shouldn’t be fear for my own well being and that exists right now.”

On Tuesday, Dave Chappelle was assaulted mid-performance on the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles when an viewers member rushed the stage and tackled the comic. Police later arrested 23-year-old Isaiah Lee, who was discovered to be carrying a mock gun containing a knife blade.

Chappelle was reportedly not injured within the incident and later joked {that a} “trans man” had assaulted him.

Comply with David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at

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