Via Racialious and Zuky, this TMZ story:
Michael Richards exploded in anger as he performed at a famous L.A. comedy club last Friday, hurling racial epithets that left the crowd gasping...
Richards, who played the wacky Cosmo Kramer on the hit TV show "Seinfeld," appeared onstage at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood. Kyle Doss, an African-American, told TMZ he and some friends were in the cheap seats and he was playfully heckling Richards when suddenly, the comedian lost it.
The camera started rolling just as Richards began his attack, screaming at one of the men, "Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a fucking fork up your ass."
Richards continued, "You can talk, you can talk, you're brave now motherfucker. Throw his ass out. Throw his ass out...”
then screams about 50 n-bombs at the guy. I'm surprised he hasn't tried Tourette's as one of his defenses. Apparently he's tried everything else.
Racialicious covers his "apology" on Letterman: (see Letterman segment video at the Think)
So Michael Richards, who played Kramer on Seinfeld, was on Letterman last night to apologize for his racist-ass rant on Friday at Los Angeles’s Laugh Factory. (See our previous post on this.)
I’m always amazed when these racial outbursts happen, and the apology is something along the lines of “I’m shouldn’t have said that” or “those words were very offensive.”
What the perpetrators of these racist statements don’t get is that it’s not the words themselves that are shocking or offensive. It’s what the words reveal about the person’s values and true beliefs.
The fact that Richards, when provoked by a black man, immediately reminded him that it wasn’t so long ago that he could have been lynched and made a public spectacle of, to me indicates that he is resentful of having to tolerate blacks being equal to him, and longs for the days when he could exercise his “god-given” superiority. Kinda makes you wonder what dinner-table conversations are like at the Richards house, no? If you didn’t believe this stuff, it wouldn’t be the first thing that came to mind.
Anyway, Defamer has some behind-the-scenes scoop on how insincere Richards’ apology is:
As he was walking out, he said to the women accompanying him, “…so you go on these shows and apologize and apologize but it’s never good enough.” One of the women murmured something about him having a PR person to handle this kind of thing and he replied, “I don’t have anyone handling this. If I did, I wouldn’t have gotten into trouble in the first place.”
Right, not having a PR person is why everyone thinks you’re a racist.
Maybe he can hire Mel's.
As also noted at Reappropriate:
And so, we were exposed to about fourteen classic “Ooops, I did it again…” excuses for unabashed racism (recently popularized by George Allen and Macaca-gate).
My favourite? Michael Richards was bitten by the racist fairy.
According to Seinfeld and Richards, who are both “mystified by what happened”, it’s like some Blackface Tinkerbell crawled up Richards’ ass and shot him full of that Strom Thurmond fairydust. Think racist thoughts, and you can make minorities fly — far, far away from you!! After all, Richards is absolutely shocked by what happened (it’s one of those “awful, awful things”, says Seinfeld) – he’s not a racist, he just came down with that racist funk.
...I love how Richards describes how he went into “a rage” — like he Hulk-ed out into some horrid 1860’s slave owner with green skin and a ripped purple tuxedo. Like, did he encounter some gamma rays in the NBC backlot sometime last decade, and now he periodically transforms into an irradiated Thomas Jefferson?
And yeah, sure enough, as always, immediately people start contorting themselves into pretzels to explain it away. To wit, a commenter at The Think:
Isn’t it possible that someone could be so angry that they say hurtful things to someone that they don’t really mean? Oh, wait. People do this to their spouses and significant others all the time. I’m not sure this does show that he has the kind of racist attitudes his words reflect, for that simple reason. He was mad at these people, and he was willing to take advantage of an immoral racial dynamic that he didn’t mind perpetuating with his very comments. That’s despicable. But it doesn’t mean he actually longs for the days of lynchings.
As I responded over there:
>Isn’t it possible that someone could be so angry that they say hurtful things to someone that they don’t really mean? Oh, wait. People do this to their spouses and significant others all the time…>
-Do- they? call their S.O. racist epithets and tell them that (essentially) they should’ve been lynched? or some sexist equivalent? Yeah, I suppose some people do do that to their “loved” ones; when -that- happens, it’s called “abuse.” And no, “I’m sorry, I don’t know what came over me” wouldn’t cut it then, either.
If he’s not a “real” racist (no one’s ever a “real” racist. no one) then he sure played one well on T.V. More to the point, he’s an abusive person who needs anger management, stat. And from the looks of it, some rehab wouldn’t hurt either. And oh yeah: in terms of lost credibility, viewers, etc., he deserves whatever he gets. No sympathy.
UPDATE: Kai finds that this is not the first documented incident of Richards being an irredeemable fuckwit. Viddy: rageoholic with the misogynist epithets, did blackface (there's a shocker) and screamed at another audience member, in this case one of those fucking Christ-killing Jews.
He sounds like a lovely man. He should write children's books.