Jerry Seinfeld, the Racist?

121003074150-jerry-seinfeld-2011-story-topHow refreshing the sound of a top-flight celebrity fearlessly shrugging off the idiocy of political correctness! The other day, on CBS This Morning, an interviewer pointed out to Jerry Seinfeld that most of the guests he’s had on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, his online series on which he has automotive tête-à-têtes with fellow practitioners of the stand-up art (and the occasional just-plain-funny person), have been white males. “Oh, this really pisses me off,” replied a bracingly honest Seinfeld, who plainly saw where his fatuous interlocutor was headed. After a bit of back and forth, the comic spelled out just how he feels about the application of this kind of absurd bean-counting to matters of entertainment: “People think it’s the census or something. Its got to represent the actual pie chart of America. Who cares?…I have no interest in gender or race….It’s anti-comedy…It’s PC nonsense.”

The attacks on Seinfeld for these purportedly insensitive remarks began materializing almost at once. A contributor to the Gawker website, who sneeringly called Seinfeld a “maker of comedy for and about white people,” represented him as having indicated that he “isn’t interested in trying to include non-white anything in his work” and that in his view “any comedian who is not a white male is also not funny.” Having read the entire Gawker article, I strongly suspect that this characterization of Seinfeld, far from being deliberately deceitful, was in fact an honest reflection of the author’s utter inability to grasp the concept of colorblindedness. Charging Seinfeld with “downplaying the work” of all nonwhite comics, the man from Gawker made a point of demonstrating his own PC purity: comedy, he proclaimed, “should represent the entire pie chart of America, and the glorious, multicolored diversity pie should be thrown directly at Jerry Seinfeld’s face.”

The funnyman also came under fire for a Canadian woman named Maya Roy, who, writing in the Huffington Post under the headline “Seinfeld’s Racist Comments Make Him the Joke,” accused him of “whitewashing New York” in his 1990s sitcom – only to chide him, in her next breath, for featuring on various episodes of that show “heavily accented Chinese food delivery boys” and an “inept Pakistani entrepreneur, Babu Bhatt,” among others. To nonwhite viewers like herself, railed Roy, these nonwhite characters “only existed to make ‘whitey’ feel superior.” She contrasted the nonwhites on Seinfeld with Indian-Canadian comic Russell Peters and Korean-American comic Margaret Cho, both of whom, exulted Roy, “use humour to mock racists and homophobes, and make life just a little more bearable for the rest of us.” (Yes, indeed, they are moral scolds, which is surely part of the reason why I, for one, find both of them excruciatingly unfunny.)

Half a century ago, an America in which people don’t have an interest in gender or race was Martin Luther King’s dream – the vision around which Americans of every color, eager to see their country live out the meaning of its creed, rallied enthusiastically. Today that kind of thinking is condemned as bigotry. Today a sitcom that doesn’t seek to mirror the population pie chart risks being called out for racism or sexism. Today a show that permits itself to include black or Chinese or Pakistani characters who, far from being role models and pillars of virtue prove to be every bit as hapless, goofy, mendacious, and/or self-absorbed as the white characters is by definition guilty of hate speech. Today, according to the PC sentries at the gates of American culture, comedy should exist not to amuse us by (among other things) treating received opinions with indifference and even irreverence but, on the contrary, to promote The Proper Values, as determined by, well, people like Maya Roy and the man from Gawker. Its focus should be on chiding the evil souls who harbor prejudice and providing comfort and affirmation to the virtuous innocents who are the objects of that prejudice. In other words, comedy, in this age of victimhood, of group identity, and of ubiquitous therapy, should succor the victims, go out of its way to affirm the unconditionally positive contribution of minority groups (especially those favored by multicultural dogma) to the wonderful mosaic of American society; it should serve, without exception, a psychically healthful, wholesome, and therapeutic purpose, while of course never doing anything that might stand the remotest chance of hurting or offending those who have already (in the PC view) been hurt or offended too mightily.

Even Time Magazine – yes, it still exists – piled onto Seinfeld after his comments on CBS, running a piece in which one Lily Rothman (a self-identified playwright and backpacker who studied at Yale and the Columbia School of Journalism) did her share of tsk-tsking about “the homogeneity of [the] guests” on Jerry’s webseries – guests, mind you, who have ranged from Jay Leno to Howard Stern, from Carl Reiner to Colin Quinn. Ms. Rothman’s inability to view these performers as a remarkably diverse crew only serves as a salutary reminder that for some people, melanin would appear to be the only measure of difference. Color, in short, is all. It’s this kind of illiberal thinking that once was recognized as a genuinely serious threat to true liberal values, and that today, in the corridors of American cultural power – including those at Time – is, perversely, the very essence of what goes by the name of liberalism. Ms. Rothman concluded her harangue by expressing the hope that “public pressure” would force Seinfeld to enhance his show’s “diversity.” Not so many years ago such a sentiment would have been widely recognized as ignoble, despicable – indeed, totalitarian. No more.

If anything is striking about this incident, it’s not the attacks on Seinfeld – who only a few months ago, by the way, said on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee that his “Mount Rushmore” of stand-ups would consist of Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, George Carlin, and Don Rickles (two blacks, two whites). No, the attacks are just the usual multicultural claptrap. What was striking – and gratifying, and heartening – were Seinfeld’s original remarks about “PC nonsense” – which, considering that they came from a man who is still the top-earning comedian in the U.S., raised expectations that the growing impatience of influential cultural figures with the poisonous influence of political correctness may yet help bring an end to the madness.

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  • Sheik Yerbouti

    “Political Correctness” is both a way to soothe crybabies who think a sheet of paper is racist for being white and a way for whites to capitulate and shed their rights and pride. ANYTHING said in a positive tone about white people is considered to be “hate speech” or is chased back with the horrors of the Crusades or tales of Indians and infected blankets. Of course the ultimate reward for all of this cheek turning is a blindside attack from a bunch of laughing black hoodlums. The time is nearing for a nasty blowback. Black “youths” think attacking elderly white people is funny. At some point they will come up against someone who isn’t weak and frail. Will they laugh then? No, they’ll whine and cry to the press about it.

    • medlaw

      The attackers will “whine and cry”… if they live…

      …and… hopefully…they won’t live!

      If they “live by the sword”, then let them die by the sword!

  • Jason P

    The accusation that the Seinfeld Show was too white is code for too Jewish. But saying this would expose the critics to charges of antisemitism. Thus they hide their bigotry in a call for “diversity” … nice try. I’m not buying it. The old adage, write what you know, is just common sense. And it is funny. For all others: get your own show and audience.

    • fritzidler

      Good point. Hadn’t thought of that one. My first thought was, why do they give Woody Allen a pass then? Talk about a lack of diversity. But the answer of course is, because Woody Allen is an accused child rapist. Just wish I could say that was funny.

      • Habbgun

        Woody made a point of dishing on WASPs, Republicans and the Klan. He could be very funny but he was self-consciously touching base with a Greenwich Village type audience. At one time that was hip but now its the law and all deviancy from the law is verboten.

        • laura r

          you dont get it. its typical jewish talk. @least it was before PC & the younger people. republicans were bad, & the klan hates jews. (the last fact is right). you also dont get the wasp thing. its status for an assimilated jew to be accepted by a classy gentile family, or country club. very much status to marry or date one of them. woodys getting into the self consiousness which arises while being around those types.

        • Markdpez

          The term klan and republicans delivered in an uncomfortable association, interesting…News flash gun. It’s not illegal to bash WASP’s in this country.

          • Jay Bee

            In many European countries it is illegal to criticize Jews and Muslims, but not Christians.

      • laura r

        sorry, wrong. woody had diane keaton, mia farrow, muriel hemingway, etc etc. remember he likes the blond waspy type.(dont call people rapists we dont know for sure. its tasteless).

        • defcon 4

          He obviously doesn’t like the blond, waspy types anymore!

          • laura r

            married to an asian. still casts those blonds in his films. its rarely an all jewish cast.

          • Seek

            Oh? Woody cast Scarlett Johanssen in “Match Point” (2005) and “Scoop” (2006). And he put Aussie Cate Blanchett in the lead in last year’s “Blue Jasmine,” a performance for which she may win an Oscar.

    • laura r

      i dont totally agree. if it were all gentile comics it would be the same. yes there ARE non jewish white comics. george carlin etc.

      • defcon 4

        Steve Martin and George Carlin used to be funny. I even used to like that guy Ron White for a while. Maybe even Daniel Tosh.

        • Seek

          Carlin died several years ago. So I would imagine he “used to be” funny! As for Martin, he’s still very funny, although he’s shifted his energy somewhat from screen to stage.

    • laura r

      question: can the govt force a TV show to intergrate like they do neighborhoods, schools, corps? that is the issue.

      • Jason P

        It can. The FCC considers the airwaves to be public property that is licensed to private firms who must serve the public interest. It has the power but hasn’t used it … yet.

        • James McGilvray

          No, it can’t. It is an issue of free speech and expression.

  • James Hood


  • johnlac

    It’s interesting the racialists chose Jerry Seinfeld to impugn whether by attacking his new show or his old sitcom. Concerning his new show, does anyone really believe that if it were a black comedian with all black passengers any non-black groups would be offended? Is there a White Entertainment Television channel that I’m not aware of? Do they really believe “Seinfeld” was a sitcom that exalted white privilege. A sitcom that every episode depicted the main characters as shallow people with numerous defects? Seinfeld’s critics are pathetic.

    • kasandra

      Plus, I notice that these complainers don’t seem to mind that, in the real world, what we mostly see these days is numerous commercials and television programs depicting white males as silly buffoons.

      • The Mad Jewess

        I agree and hate that.

      • pete

        “depicting white males as silly buffoons”
        or more than just silly buffoons – the Ad Council along with others are responsible for the reprehensible “Think Before You Post”. The “PSA” shows seven white guys making sexual innuendo towards A single, 12yo, white girl and what she posts on her FB. one of the leches was half-white — incidentally, i went looking for a law firm to go class action on their butts.
        see also the drunk driving commericial that shows only white people with “beer” sloshing out over the windows

      • laura r

        right! thats what that statue is about @ wellsley.

    • Habbgun

      I like Comedians in Cars. Funny this is he had on Chris Rock and he has also said on
      the show he considers Richard Pryor as deserving a place on the comedy
      Mount Rushmore. As they say race hustlers need to eat too.

      Besides if they want to see a show where there are black people and gays they can always watch its Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

    • Seek

      Even if there a White Entertainment Network (WET), what of it? Maybe that’s what we whites need right now.

      • laura r

        douteful jews would be included as most white nationalists dont consider them white. ofcause if a jewish conservative owned the network then we are in business.

    • Melissa

      Seinfeld was a show about a group of white friends and their daily lives. It was funny and somethings nearly every white person could identify with. That’s why the show was immensely popular. Introducing an African American or Latino would have instantly put a certain uneasiness into the show. It would not have worked well.

      Minority cry babies. Let them get their own shows!

      • dabney_c

        Seinfeld was a show about a group of shallow, neurotic NYC Jews. I think it’s hilarious that people see it as “white”.

        • laura r

          white on the outside, NYC on the inside. make sence?

      • Lydia Long

        True. I loved The Jeffersons and Sanford and Son. They were hilarious shows.

        • Bingeman

          Don’t forget “Good Times”….we shall never forget “JJ”!

    • laura r

      the fact that they see white is the issue. then they know the cast is jewish which gets them crazy. i loved his show. also liked larry david, most of them.

  • BMS

    Bravo Jerry for not caving in to the anti-Semitic racists who say your show isn’t “diverse” enough. Should you only have black guests on your show to appease these morons who feel that every movie, tv show, and commercial must be diverse and to their liking. If they don’t want to watch, don’t watch, but don’t demonize every successful white person because their success bothers you and isn’t YOUR success.

    • laura r

      blacks have paul mooney. if they want something less radical they have eddie. then there’s chris rock.

  • StanleyT

    Interesting comment about Rusell Peters. Frankly, I find HIS humour offensive – and I’m not talking about the racial stuff. He is crude, rude and pretty awful, but obviously he has an audience that thrives on four-letter words. Compare that to Seinfeld, who never says anything more extreme than “crap”, and yet had me laughing uncontrollably when I saw him in Vegas in December. Quite simply, the man is a class act, while Peters is simply crass.

  • Atikva

    I currently watch reruns of Seinfeld on TV with the same pleasure as before. It was and still is a quality show, contrary to most of the new ones which are pure and unadulterated trash. The rest is irrelevant.

    And as to “representing the entire pie chart of America”… the American Black population of 13% has become about 50% percent on the TV screen.

    • laura r

      trans: how much of the pie chart? they seem to be taking up almost 100%. i havnt yet seen trans comedy, is it allowed???

  • cheeseburger

    Politically correct scumbags are subhuman maggots. They are the flies that eat their own feces. Other than that they are swelled egos.

  • Lydia Long

    I hope Mr. Seinfeld doesn’t cave in to the PC police, but the pressure can be very difficult.

    • Race_Dissident

      I will be shocked if he doesn’t cave. They all do.

    • laura r

      i dont think he will. hes too smart, he would call a lawyer.

  • poetcomic1

    Jerry is the boy who started in comedy by memorizing every word and every intonation of every Bill Cosby album.

  • JoJoJams

    I’m still waiting for pro basketball teams to show this “diversity of the demographic pie” that the demagogs demand. And while we’re at it, shouldn’t a low-melanin content human have the chance at being president of the NAACP or the “black television network” etc? /sarc

    • clavdivs

      Yes, and why stop there? Aren’t all-male teams sexist?

  • The Mad Jewess

    Just stick to your guns, Seinfeld.
    Thats the ONLY way to deal with totalitarian bullies

  • Dallas25305

    Where is the charges by the Liberal Socialist left of racism in the cases of Black power racist hood rats and their Knock out game aimed at white’s, Asian’s and white Hispanics?? No there is no racism there, no nothing to see here, from the mouths of the moronic Liberal Socialist, Democrap left.

  • wileyvet

    Imagine how the PC crowd would react to the Dean Martin roasts, The Rat Pack, Don Rickles or Buddy Hacket’s Chinese Waiter routine?

    • laura r

      jackie mason? he does the best ethnic humor. equal op offender. hes 83 & he wont stop for anyone! best social comic around.

  • Veracious_one

    The Seinfeld tv show was great…who can forget the soup Nazi, George’s bouts with George Steinbrenner, losing the car in the parking lot, Kramer and the meat slicer, the muffin top episode, the cabin in the snow episode, Kramer’s “Assman” license plate episode, and so many more hilarious episodes…no racial overtones or hatred…just a lot of good comedy…

  • Lou Sander

    Some say that nonwhite comedians rely too much on blue material. Or that they just aren’t very funny. Or that laughing at their material could be construed as laughing at them.

  • DontMessWithAmerica

    I have just left the following at Gawker – I’m a racist Alien. The purple people on my planet are all superior to you nasty black and white and brown mother-effers. We have very funny shows on our TV networks, never about our purple people. We sit around and laugh at you hilarious, diverse creatures with all these colors and how you whine about not getting enough representation for your various pathetic factions – and how you let pathetic little publications egg you on with manufactured political correctness.

  • De Doc

    It’s ironic that one Seinfeld episode, “The Limo”, jokingly has Jerry, Elaine and George posing as white nationalists all for free ride. The joke of course is that you had three Jews in these roles, which made it all the more hilarious.

    It is sad that grievance mongers such as Ms. Roy lack any appreciation of comedic ability or subtle, self-deprecating humor that Seinfeld et al so aptly displayed in the series. But of course that’s probably why Roy finds a venue only in the stale, humorless columns of HuffPo.

  • antioli

    why don’t the critics just say one of the actors is black; something like they did when they proclaimed Zimmerman to be White

  • dabney_c

    Yay for Jerry Seinfeld! Jeez, I’m sick to death of the PC police trampling on everything in their path. I used to be a liberal, but liberalism has been kidnapped by moronic ideas that have gotten more and more fascist over the years. Thank you, Jerry, for telling it like it is!

  • catherineinpvb

    Jerry seems to be the only one in Lib Land who ‘gets it’. He treats everyone – challenges anyone – finds humor in everybody; all situations; no matter what color the skin of those involved. It is those who cry racist; who cannot get past the racist log of color; that sits large, in their eye. Jerry has never taken advantage; nor prospered; by the color of someone else’s skin.

    Something the majority of these ‘color complainants’ cannot say. At least; say, honestly.

    • Sunflowers67

      I’m wondering if the Sarah Jessica Parker episode is a concession to the complaints that he doesn’t have enough women since she isn’t a comedian and isn’t funny. I thought the episode was weak–the only funny parts were Jerry and the car.

  • Freeway1

    I always find it funny when they randomly stick a random minority in a group of whites in a commercial or show. It’s so obvious.

  • Lutz

    I hope the hell Seinfeld ignores these PC idiots and keeps delivering a fun show.

  • Bingeman

    ….ya gotta see the baby…….airing of the grievances at Festivus…I don’t know how you guys walk around with those things…this was by far,the best comedy of all time,dare I say…not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  • Sab W

    for someone who tried to sound so smart by throwing around all the big words, maybe they should have shut up long enough to properly convey their message without so many run on sentences so the reader wouldnt be hit with five different thought in one sentence making it both grammatically incorrect, ignorant sounding, stuffy, and just too much all at once just like this sentence i am typing right now :)

  • Sharod Richardson

    This article is filth lol, watch Seinfeld and enjoy.

  • Sunflowers67

    God, people are such assholes. I hope Jerry has enough money and influence now that he can tell them all to go fuck themselves. Incidentally, Jerry’s best friend (and the best man at his wedding) is black comedian George Wallace. Jerry also has stated that his “Mount Rushmore” of comedy would be Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Don Rickles, and George Carlin. Recklessly and falsely calling people “racists” just undermines that claim when it’s real. Disgusting.

  • Andre Reichenbacher

    Another reason some might think Jerry is racist is some of the material in his 1998 standup special where he talks about NYC cab drivers, saying that one would need a chart of the elements if you wanted to report them, and then gave the example of one of their names being “Amal and the symbol for boron”. He then said he didnt remember learning about the “O with the line through it” letter in school. It happens to be an important component of the Scandinavian languages, but Jerry didnt know that and obviously didnt care, he just made a reference to something that wasn’t American and exploited it for his “comedy”. Of course, in the pre-9/11 days, Muslim and Middle Eastern people-bashing wasn’t quite as prevelant as it is now. I think Jerry made a few off-color and lapse-in-good-judgment remarks, but he can probably be forgiven for them in the long run. Know what I mean?