My heart sunk and my stomach churned a little when I listened to Michael Richards racist rant taped at the Laugh Factor in West Hollywood. I heard reports on what Richards, who played the popular character Kramer on "Seinfeld," said this morning. But when I watched the video for myself, I was sickened.
Part of being a stand-up comic is being heckled. I've seen comedians fire back at audience members and it's just uncomfortable for everyone else. After all, we go to comedy shows to laugh. Richards, as a long-time professional, should have been able to handle the hecklers. Instead, he fires off the "n-word" over and over again and with enthusiasm remarks about a time when blacks were victims of civil rights abuses.
Since the outburst, Richards has apologized saying the attack was fueled by anger and not bigotry.
"For me to be at a comedy club and flip out and say this crap, I'm deeply, deeply sorry," Richards said during a satellite appearance for David Letterman's "Late Show" in New York.
As much as I love "Seinfeld" and Richards' character, Kramer, this changes everything. In this day and age, there really is no reason for such comments.
Times columnist Monica Carter also wrote about the incident, which you can read in Wednesday's Times. Or watch the video at your own risk, at http://www.tmz.com/2006/11/20/kramers-racist-tirade-caught-on-tape/