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  1. #481
    Scrappy Spartan Broadway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJane;2151546;
    you could also argue that Richards was provoked, since the audience members had heckled him. If his act had gone on without audience interference, it probably wouldn't include any disparaging racial comments.
    Agreed, to some extent. I think the reports of the event are very confusing in that the initial reports said he was being heckled, but the other comedians that were there say that he was not being heckled; that the two guys were just talking during his routine. If the other comedians are to be believed, I think the ongoing "he was being heckled" comments in articles aren't necessarily fact, but instead are just lazy reporting repeating the initial report. And, normal heckling doesn't constitute an equal provoked attack in the sense that Richards was not being provoked with racial epithets so he was not retaliating in kind, as opposed to the "cracker" comments that came after the fact.

    One thing that I did notice when seeing Richards' apology for the first time last night is that he spoke in a plurality, as if this kind of outburst is commonplace. I don't have the exact quote, but he said something along the lines as "I'm not racist, but all of a sudden this stuff just comes out of me...." as if it's happened suddenly before. Of course it could just be a very poor choice of words.

    And again (Broadway disclaimer), I say all of this not to lessen Mel Gibson's actions at all yet again... I'm just saying that their outbursts are equally as shameful and hateful. And I, too, don't much care for most of Mel's stuff... but I'm looking forward to Apocalypto because the Mayans, and their disappearance, fascinate me.


    eta: Here's the video of the two audience members' version of events on The Today Show this morning. It adds a bit more detail that again, if they are to be believed, lends to the fact that Richards' attack was unprovoked.
    Last edited by Broadway; 11-22-2006 at 11:18 AM. Reason: add video
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  2. #482
    HBK fan nilesgirl's Avatar
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    Broadway, I loved the other post. Gibson did not write the bible or any of the actions that happened in it. While I don't condone what he said, I honestly do not think he would've done it had he not been fall-down drunk. Not that that's an excuse. This is the main reason why I stopped watching The View. 2 weeks ago (or so), Joy made a comment about Mel Gibson that left a bad taste in my mouth and I decided that while I tolerated her off-handed remarks and heckling before, this-for me-was way overboard. I have not watched it since. And yes, the two guys Richards was spewing the racial remarks at didn't call him cracker*** until after Richards started with his racial slurs. They did it in reaction to what he said about them. Not that that's an excuse. They were both in the wrong but Richards remarks were unprovoked where as the other one (cracker***) was.
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  3. #483
    FORT Fogey Cornedbeef's Avatar
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    As much as I admire Jerry Seinfeld for sticking up for Michael Richards. I don't think he would be to quick to rush to his defense if he spewed out some Anti-Semetic insults at an audience member.

  4. #484
    CCL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broadway;2151572;
    One thing that I did notice when seeing Richards' apology for the first time last night is that he spoke in a plurality, as if this kind of outburst is commonplace. I don't have the exact quote, but he said something along the lines as "I'm not racist, but all of a sudden this stuff just comes out of me...." as if it's happened suddenly before. Of course it could just be a very poor choice of words.
    I would disagree with regards to the issue of his speaking in a plurality being an indicator that he has a history of making such comments. "This stuff" seems to refer to the comments made on the night in question, not in reference to past events. At least how I see it.

    I'm not condoning what Richards said at all. It was racist, distasteful, and just plain wrong. But it is as if noone can make a mistake anymore. He has apologized, meaning he has recognized his fault, but people don't see that as being enough. To me he seemed sincere. But the media barrage continues full pace. I find that sad, personally.

    Just for interest, a comparison:
    In Borat, the main character shops for a gun that will kill Jews. The movie starts off with a parade where people run away from the devil Jew-monster. Number One movie in US.
    Richards makes comments about lynching blacks. Number one target in America (for now).
    How do the two differ? Is Sacha Baren Cohen, who plays Borat, "allowed" to say such things because he himself is Jewish? I'm sure most people who saw Borat and laughed along would never dream of killing any Jewish person. I know I don't. But is it not still racist, really?
    Last night I saw a comedian named Godfrey saying that racial comedy is okay if the racism is part of the joke. He said what Richard's said was not part of his stand-up act, and, thus, it was racist and inoffensive. I can see that. But does that mean if he had put jokes about lynchings in his act it would have been ok? I don't think it would have been. Would it have been "ok" if he was black? Would the end meaning not be the same?
    Last edited by CCL; 11-22-2006 at 05:44 PM.
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  5. #485
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered prhoshay's Avatar
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    But that was not a mistake......that was a full out, on and on rant. A little bit more than a whoopsie, I'd say. That was pure hatred.
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  6. #486
    CCL
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    Quote Originally Posted by prhoshay;2151921;
    But that was not a mistake......that was a full out, on and on rant. A little bit more than a whoopsie, I'd say. That was pure hatred.
    I didn't say it was a "whoopsie." But a lot of people do and say things, in the heat of the moment, that they regret. If every one of us is going to be held inflexibly accountable for something we said in a moment of anger...even after we've come to our senses and tried to make amends. Well, I don't know.
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  7. #487
    FORT Fogey Leftcoaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lois Lane;2150368;
    What Richards' skit showed was that he's not very fast on his feet when it comes to comebacks. OK, say the "n" word once if you must to get your point across. Then move on. There are so many things he could've said/done that would've gotten his point across and he could've just gone on with his show--there were still people there who were enjoying his act, pre-tirade.

    There are a ton of good standup comics who regularly input race and uncomfortable racial stereotypes into their acts. They usually don't pick one to lash out their anger at though.
    I couldnít agree more on him giving the impression of one not fast on his feet in that regard. Instead of Richards, however, Iíd agree that in theory there are many things another more verbally adept performer might have said, but again, Richards doesnít strike me as that sort. That doesnít mean that I believe he was only capable of lashing out as he did, just that heíd be more prone to lashing out in similar manner that he did rather than seamlessly incorporating a response into an act that would carry on effectively.

    Iíve not seen too many stand up comics lately, miss the heyday back in the mid Ď80s where I couldnít turn on the tube without running across what seemed like several shows of that type a night. Consequently, Iíve been hard-pressed trying to think of just a few stand up comics that make race a part of their act. Even more difficult is trying to place a white comic that does so, or one I can imagine doing so in a manner that would be deemed entertaining yet not offensive. I suppose George Carlin could pull it off if he were drawn in that direction; no other name comes to my mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandy;2150430;
    He also thought Richards may have been trying to be funny but went for shocking instead, and ending up shocking himself.
    Thatís the way it struck me as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandy;2150430;
    Did Richards at any time actually say "It was wrong of me to use those words"?

    Because all I heard him say were things like "I'm sorry the audience was subjected to my rage". That isn't the same thing as saying that the word itself, or using the word, is wrong. To me, Richards still also seemed churlish, when he got huffy about the audience laughing. He has to realise by now, what "nervous laughter" is.
    I donít recall him saying it was wrong in the manner you mentioned, but without recalling specifics, he sure gave the impression to me that he thought what he said was out of line. As to whether its wrong to say that word, I donít believe he addressed that, nor do I believe a person in his current position is effectively capable of addressing the question. I believe there ought to be one standard. If the word is deemed taboo, its taboo period; not to be designated selectively.

    He didnít strike me as churlish or huffy, nor did the laughter sound nervous to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandy;2150430;
    PR said "This is a side of Michael I did not know existed", and Seinfeld also, while on Letterman, looked pretty shocked.
    I find it hard to imagine being around someone for a decade or more without getting some indication of mindset if the person youíre observing is a racist as I ordinarily think of when the term is used. Broadening the definition, its hard for me to think up anyone who doesnít fit the bill in one manner or another.

    Jerry Seinfeld struck me as a self serving tool more than someone aiming to aid a friend on Letterman. He looked shocked, Iíll give him that. He could have looked how ever he wished at that moment, I believe. He certainly had no problem segueing for laughs into {paraphrasing} with his ĎI had just another great dayí response. Maybe like Richards said, it just wasnít the right venue. Or maybe Jerry wasnít too broken up over what occurred to begin with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Broadway;2150461;
    Why? How? People that do not have racist beliefs do not jump to making racial insults in an unprovoked attack. Sorry, but they just don't. The words flew quickly to Michael Richards' mouth.. and they spewed easily and with hatred.
    Why and how is because I interpret his tirade as tapping into the racist undertone lying just under the surface of our overall culture rather than unleashing a mindset he possesses on a day to day basis. In that I believe that most all of us have the same ingredients in our expressive pouches that might be deployed in like manner under certain circumstances. For Richards, it was in imagining for a moment on some reactive level that he was adept enough as an entertainer to incorporate such subject manner into his routine in response to some audience traits he was sorely ill equipped to deal with or just brush off as he should have.


    Quote Originally Posted by Broadway;2150461;
    But I do not believe his 100% sober tirade in an unprovoked, non-threatening environment can be overlooked.

    I find it puzzling that so many are a little quick to forgive and excuse Michael Richards (comment not directed personally at you, Leftcoaster, but the many over the internet that I've seen) but they are still holding a major labeling grudge against Mel Gibson for comments that were provoked, ingrained from upbringing, and made under the influence. People were so quick to disregard the lack of liquor's influence in Mel's comments.. saying that it simply made him say things that he truly believed. Yet when Michael Richards makes even worse comments while stone-cold sober, people believe him when he says that he isn't a racist.

    What makes Michael Richards' comments any more tolerable than Mel Gibson's? His comments were worse, the hatred spewing from his face is visible to us, the longevity of his tirade was unbelievable and negates it being an "off the cuff comment out of anger", but still people believe him over Mel Gibson??
    I donít personally view a radical difference between Richardís remarks and Gibsonís. Richards may not have been intoxicated, may have been Ďsoberí for what its worth, but by my way of thinking it isnít worth much. Neither was master of their own mouth when they let it all flow out in my estimation; Gibsonís tongue lubricated by booze, Richardís due to ad-libbing while pissed.

    As an aside, how was Gibson provoked?

    Rather than assuming Richardís to be racist with no previous episode to build upon, I view him as someone with some pronounced control inadequacy. In a long term relationship, this would be a person who found himself {or herself} incapable of dragging out the big guns, those buttons which most people realize are bridge burners that must not be used as weaponry if you intend to maintain a relationship.

    I was thinking of the progressive venom of Richardís comments prior to his deflative ending just now, wonder about what sort of unanticipated release may have been triggered by his first strident use of the nuclear slur. A powerful word indeed. Un-P.C. as as can be to ask, possibly, but could the second, third or fourth{?) have entailed to some degree savoring the power of a word for the most part never uttered? It would be interesting to watch the imagery frame by frame to see what kind of visible change there may be in his expession.
    .

  8. #488
    Scrappy Spartan Broadway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leftcoaster;2152103;
    I don’t personally view a radical difference between Richard’s remarks and Gibson’s. Richards may not have been intoxicated, may have been ‘sober’ for what its worth, but by my way of thinking it isn’t worth much. Neither was master of their own mouth when they let it all flow out in my estimation; Gibson’s tongue lubricated by booze, Richard’s due to ad-libbing while pissed.
    My point exactly. If one is going to mark Mel Gibson as a racist, then how can one forgive Richards' comments by saying "oh, I believe him when he says he's not racist"? The two events are equal, at the very least.

    As an aside, how was Gibson provoked?
    Gibson was drunk, and stopped by a Jewish cop for a traffic violation. It's a threatening situation that puts a person of the right temperament on the defensive. Not excusing him by any means, but pointing out the difference between provoked and unprovoked.

    Rather than assuming Richard’s to be racist with no previous episode to build upon, I view him as someone with some pronounced control inadequacy. In a long term relationship, this would be a person who found himself {or herself} incapable of dragging out the big guns, those buttons which most people realize are bridge burners that must not be used as weaponry if you intend to maintain a relationship.
    Ahh, but there are many that have talked about Richards being woound tight as a top over the last 20+ years. He apparently is, and has not been, the most pleasant person to be around.

    Why and how is because I interpret his tirade as tapping into the racist undertone lying just under the surface of our overall culture rather than unleashing a mindset he possesses on a day to day basis. In that I believe that most all of us have the same ingredients in our expressive pouches that might be deployed in like manner under certain circumstances. For Richards, it was in imagining for a moment on some reactive level that he was adept enough as an entertainer to incorporate such subject manner into his routine in response to some audience traits he was sorely ill equipped to deal with or just brush off as he should have.
    I agree with you wholeheartedly about the latent racism lying just under the surface of most (many?).

    Since it doesn't appear that anyone has listened to the audience members' version of events (of which there are apparently at least 13 other people that can back them up) they were with a group of 15 people that made a night out of going to The Laugh Factory. They arrived in a limo a little late, and were ushered to their table on the second floor while Michael Richards was on. The group was apparently pretty ethnically diverse, and they were immediately being served by a waitress. It was this rustling and talking that Michael Richards apparently objected to. While they were being seated, he allegedly made a comment along the lines of "Oh look, the Mexicans and Asians have arrived tonight...." and another comment or two that they mentioned in their interview that I linked to above. Then one of the black guys looked at him and said "You're not funny." That is what is being represented as "heckling" and, again, if true, does not warrant the racial tirade that Michael Richards unleashed. We would have rightly heard nothing of it if he just got angry and started screaming. Many couldn't have blamed him for that. But to immediately jump to racial insults suggests far more than an inexperienced comic (after 20+ years??) that was ill-equipped to handle heckling.

    I was thinking of the progressive venom of Richard’s comments prior to his deflative ending just now, wonder about what sort of unanticipated release may have been triggered by his first strident use of the nuclear slur. A powerful word indeed. Un-P.C. as as can be to ask, possibly, but could the second, third or fourth{?) have entailed to some degree savoring the power of a word for the most part never uttered? It would be interesting to watch the imagery frame by frame to see what kind of visible change there may be in his expession.
    The video's out there to be seen, however foggy. It's a shame the person with the camera cellphone didn't capture the actual beginning of the discourse.
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  9. #489
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered prhoshay's Avatar
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    Looks like Richards has hired a PR firm.

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  10. #490
    On a cupcake mission! Lois Lane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corprip;2150978;
    Were the audience members insitigating him also in the wrong, especially when one of them called him a cracker? Yes.
    I saw the incident on TMZ and don't recall anyone calling him a cracker until AFTER he had suggested the African Americans be hung from a tree and repeated the "n" word numerous times. I'm not saying it's right to call anyone a cracker, but I find that word a lot less offensive than the "n" word--especially when it's used AFTER the "n" word has been said.

    Now, if the hecklers were calling him a cracker throughout the show, then that's not right either.

    Has anyone seen comedienne Linda Cardonelli (sp?) do her stand up act? I saw one of her shows on cable the other day and I was shocked--and laughing. She skewered every single race/ethnic group, straights, gays, fat people, thin people, etc. There was something offensive to be said about everyone (including herself) and somehow, I wasn't offended because EVERYONE was included. And she was funny.

    Quote Originally Posted by Broadway;2152856;
    Since it doesn't appear that anyone has listened to the audience members' version of events (of which there are apparently at least 13 other people that can back them up) they were with a group of 15 people that made a night out of going to The Laugh Factory. They arrived in a limo a little late, and were ushered to their table on the second floor while Michael Richards was on. The group was apparently pretty ethnically diverse, and they were immediately being served by a waitress. It was this rustling and talking that Michael Richards apparently objected to. While they were being seated, he allegedly made a comment along the lines of "Oh look, the Mexicans and Asians have arrived tonight...." and another comment or two that they mentioned in their interview that I linked to above. Then one of the black guys looked at him and said "You're not funny." That is what is being represented as "heckling" and, again, if true, does not warrant the racial tirade that Michael Richards unleashed.
    Thanks for that update Broadway. It's interesting to hear how it all started...

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