You may or may not already have heard about this, but I read today about Michael Richards, the actor who played Kramer in Seinfeld and his quite exceptionally unpleasant racist outburst onstage in a comedy club in Los Angeles. After becoming annoyed at two black audience members he reacted by shouting:
“Shut up! Fifty years ago we’d have you upside down with a f#cking fork up your ass”, then “Throw his ass out. He’s a n#gger! He’s a n#gger! He’s a n#gger! A n#gger, look, there’s a n#gger!”, and “This is what happens when you interrupt the white man”. Seeing the words on screen, however, doesn’t actually do justice to the violence of his rant. There’s a YouTube clip below, but proceed with extreme caution, as it’s hugely offensive:
He’s since made an apology on the David Letterman show, but this looks to me like career-ending stuff. Ironically the outburst happened on Friday, and on Monday the DVD box set of season 7 of Seinfeld was released in the UK. The adage that all publicity is good publicity has been dented a bit here.
Right wing American radio host Michael Savage has claimed that Richards’s outburst was “what the subtext of liberalism really is”, and that “Under the surface, if you got them in a room alone, I guarantee you they’d say this same kind of hateful things about Catholics and about Jews and about straights and about soldiers”. Savage has previously described Arabs as “non-humans” and called the alleged victim in the Duke University rape case a “dirty, verminous black stripper”.