Monday, November 27, 2006

oh Kramer

You’ve really crossed the line this time Cosmo Kramer.

A couple weeks ago, former Seinfeld star Michael Richards performed at a comedy club in Los Angeles. During the routine, Richards got fired up over some comments made by two black hecklers in the audience.

Shockingly, Richards began to lash out at the two men by yelling racial slurs and obscenities. The tirade went on for about two minutes. It was captured on camera-video by a member in the audience. It was put up on the internet shortly after.

Since then, Richards has appeared on Letterman to apologize nationally. He said his comments were fueled by rage and that he was not a racist. He feels shattered about what he did and is now seeking psychiatric counseling to uncover the reasons behind his rage.

He went on Rev. Jesse Jackson's radio program to apologize to the black community in the U.S. and specifically the two men in the audience.

This came across as very shocking. It is appalling! What was going through his mind when he said those things? How bad did he get heckled? Aren’t stand-up comedians heckled at every show? It comes with the job therefore you think an experienced veteran such as Richards would be able to handle it.

There could be many reasons why he said what he said. If you watch the video, it might seem that he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Or perhaps the hecklers weren’t shutting up and letting Richards do his bit.

Whatever the reason may be, there is no excuse for Richards actions. He was caught being a racial bigot and is now paying the price.

An issue raised is why did the club let people with cell phones or video cameras in? Comedians say a lot of controversial things in their sketches and any dimwad with a video camera can capture it and put it up on the web, causing it to be a bigger issue than it really is. What about privacy? What about respect? No one asked Richards if they could videotape his show.

In our world today, almost everyone has a cell phone that can capture video clips. Wouldn’t Richards know that he could potentially be taped? If he thought that, it might have changed his attitude that night. A person changes when they have a camera pointed at them. They act in a different manner because they know other people will see it.

What is also interesting is that a African-American can call a white man a ‘cracker’ and not get in trouble for it but once we say the ‘n’ word, we are suddenly prejudice. We really should examine the words and their meanings. Or choose to not say them at all.

The image of Cosmo Kramer is now tainted. Watching Seinfeld is different now because of what happened. It’s really too bad.

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