Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Michael Richards' apology

A seemingly unedited version of Michael Richards' unpolished and rambling apology on the Letterman show is on YouTube (The abridged version CBS posted doesn't make any sense). Richards' statement seems pathetic and unrehearsed that it seems genuine. He even used the outdated "Afro-American" term. recounts a Richards sighting after the apology in which he is overheard admitting that he doesn't have a PR person to handle the disaster: "I don't have anyone handling this. If I did, I wouldn't have gotten into trouble in the first place." (Obviously this is a rumored remark, so who knows how accurate it is.)

I have to admit that as a long-time Seinfeld show fan, I really did want to believe Richards was genuine and sincere, but Richards offensive remarks seem to go way overboard. During the statement, he momentarily lost my sympathy when he tried to phrase his behavior in the context of the nation's race relations and Katrina, but he steered himself back to his awkward apology. It would be adviseable for Richards to check-in into drug/alcohol or even psychiatric treatment -- even if he doesn't have a diagnosed problem -- because I can't imagine how else he can explain away his remarks.

On a side note, this has to be one of the most awkward television moments ever. Jerry Seinfeld even scolds Letterman's live audience ("Stop laughing. It's not funny.") who were obviously not following the unexpected transition from comedy show to serious interview. Undermining the Letterman segment is that Michael Richards and Jerry Seinfeld are so closely connected to their self-centered Seinfeld characters who were never sincere or serious about anything. Although I intellectually know Richards and Seinfeld are real people seperate from their characters, it was impossible not to see their characters in the Letterman segment.

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