‘Seinfeld’ Star Michael Richards Says ‘I’m Not Racist’ As He Addresses Calling Heckler The N-Word During 2006 Comedy Show 

Michael Richards

‘Seinfeld’ Star Michael Richards Says ‘I’m Not Racist’ As He Addresses
Calling Heckler The N-Word During 2006 Comedy Show

Comedic actor Michael Richards is opening up about the 2006 meltdown that halted his career.

The 74-year-old admitted that he wanted to “put down” the person he hurled a racial slur at during a heated exchange, but claimed that it wasn’t because of racism but rather his own insecurities.

Michael Richards

Michael Richards spoke about the matter during a recent interview with PEOPLE. The “Seinfeld” actor claimed that he immediately regretted calling a Black man the n-word for heckling him nearly 20 years ago, stating:

“I’m not racist. I have nothing against Black people. The man who told me I wasn’t funny had just said what I’d been saying to myself for a while. I felt put down. I wanted to put him down.”

Continuing, Michael Richards shared that he lost control that evening as he already had insecurities about his talent bubbling up inside him, despite his TV success. Getting candid about how much his internal issues played a role in the comedy show blow-up, he added:

 “I said no to the offer of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I didn’t feel deserving. I said no to hosting ‘Saturday Night Live’ twice because I didn’t feel good enough. I was never really satisfied with my ‘Seinfeld’ performance. Fame magnified my insecurities.”

Michael Richards

In case you’re unfamiliar, the infamous moment happened while Richards was performing at the Hollywood Laugh Factory. After being heckled on stage, the entertainer lashed out with a racially charged verbal assault, telling the heckler:

“50 years ago we’d have you upside down with a f***ing fork up your a**! You can talk, you can talk…you’re brave now motherf***er! Throw his a** out, he’s a n***er!…Look there’s a n***er!”

Michael Richards

Richards has mostly remained out of the spotlight since the incident but is seemingly ready to ease his way back into Hollywood. He did reportedly make clear, however, that he has no interest in reviving his on-screen career.


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Authored by: Kay Johnson