Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Michael Richards Channels Mel Gibson

Wow! You know I'm glad that in the week after I decided it's time to wind down and possibly pack up and move back home to L.A. that two events happen there to make me wonder if maybe not moving back would be a better idea.

The first is directly below. That's the UCLA student who got a taser taken to him a few times by the UCPD on campus at Powell Library.

Now we have another over the top event. Michael Richards from Seinfeld lost his temper while on stage performing at the Laugh Factory. He was being heckled, and he called them "niggers" because they happened to be black hecklers. In addition to using that racial epithet, he said other things that were downright offensive.

I thought hecklers were par for the course when you do stand-up, so shouldn't he be used to it by now?

Anyway, here is the clip that incident that being sent all over the Internet:

Needless to say, I was really shocked to see him go off like that. I think he was trying to make it seem like he was pushing the envelop in terms of humor, but it seems it is more rage than anything close to comedic wit.

I decided to post it when I saw his apology during Seinfeld's appearance on The Late Show.

Here is that clip:

I do think Letterman's question to Richards about what he would have done had the hecklers been of another race was a good question to ask.

His apology was the least he could do. Talking about race relations and Katrina fell flat for me. Those issues are the ones he should have thought of BEFORE he snapped.

It was horrible and wrong of him to say what he said. I don't care if these guys had been mooning him from their seats.

From my perspective, there isn't much he can say. The "I'm sorry" doesn't change that he showed his true colors that evening. What's interesting is in both the Richards incident and the Gibson one both claim that they will take “necessary steps to ensure my return to health” or that they need "personal work."

That very well might be true. However, isn't it more probable that they're just racists or bigots?

More links (videos have been moved to this post - Reactions to Michael Richards' Outburst):
TMZ.com (gossip) - Richards' Rant - Not the First Time (now it's come out that he's ranted before, not about blacks but about Jews.)
PerezHilton (gossip) - In His Own Words
Washington Post - 'Seinfeld' Comic Richards Apologizes for Racial Rant

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  1. I agree with you. I was so shocked to hear the words come from a person that I admired from afar. Michael Richards obviously has some serious issues with Blacks and perhaps others. That was definitely a cry for help.

  2. Thanks for your comment Vanessa.

    I'm still processing the whole thing. I got a bulletin regarding it on MySpace this morning, but I didn't even open it to watch once I realized what was going on.

    At first, I thought it was Michael Richards spoofing Gibson. Well, not quite.

    I hope somoene answers his "call" because I know for sure there are a few people who when they think of him now, the last thing they think of his helping him.

  3. When I saw and heard Richards on CNN, it was pure venom. I am totally convinced that he meant every word of what he said. I've read that some people think he was drunk, if this is true, then there is nothing like the "fake boldness" one gets from drinking too much to make some people say what they really feel.

    To me, Richards will forever be remembered for his rant. I didn't buy his apology and frankly, how does anyone convert a stone cold racist to change how he/she feels? Who really knows when the heart changes? I don't.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Hey LB!

    Gawd...I typed out a well thought out reply and then the AMAs started (I taped the show.) I did something stupid and lost my comment! :(

    Anyway, let me try it again. I agree that he meant what he said. You don't repeat that epithet over and over unless you mean it.

    He's been in the business long enough to know what he was doing WASN'T funny and wouldn't go over well. He was angry. He might have had a few drinks, so he might have been buzzed. He got angry and those who angered him were black and he let them have it, from his heart.

    I do think that if he wants to change he can. I've changed my views of things over the years. The thing is he'll have to do something dramatic to turn around public opinion. I think it's possible, but saying he's sorry and making excuses isn't the way to do it.

    Just how action got him into trouble, action will get him out of it.


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