Stateside

Not that there’s anything right with that

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.

UPDATE:

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”.

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