Howie Mandel said he fears for his safety after the attack on Dave Chappelle, and said he believes Will Smith’s Oscars slap is partially responsible for inciting violence.
Mandel said he has reservations about returning to the stand-up comedy stage, in the wake of the attack on Dave Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl. When asked how he felt about the incident, he admitted he was fearful.
“Absolutely, and I was before even last night, but last night kind of is my worst fear come true,” he said during an interview with Daily Pop. “Not to comment on what happened at the Academy Awards, but I thought that that opened the flood gates for people.”
“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,” Mandel said to Daily Pop. “You saw what happened at the Academy Awards, and I thought that just triggers — violence triggers violence. And I think this is the beginning of the end for comedy.”
Mandel said he is now on high alert, and has noted the alarming safety concerns that plague his industry.
“I’ve been in the business for 45 years and my biggest fear is that you wouldn’t laugh and there’d be silence. There shouldn’t be fear for my own well-being, you know? And that exists right now,” he said to Daily Pop.(RELATED: Howie Mandel To Host New Game Show Called ‘Bullsh*t.’ Here’s A Sneak Peek)
— New York Post (@nypost) May 5, 2022
“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,” the famous game show host said during an interview with Extra. “That hit… no pun intended… that hit very deeply,” he said in the interview.
As for how this affects his future as a comedian and entertainer, Mandel said, “The love of what we do is fading… joking now has no safety net,” according to Extra.