Win Michael Richards’ Money

By: Bob Parks

I just read this Associated Press story on the Michael Richards fiasco. This thing is getting better by the minute. Let me comment on this story as written….

The title is “Men Seek Apology From Ex-’Seinfeld’ Star.” This really means Christmas is coming and they want money for some 42” plasma televisions and High-Def channel subscriptions for a couple years.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Two men who say they were insulted by actor-comedian Michael Richards during his racist rant at a comedy club want a personal apology and maybe some money, their lawyer said Friday.

Maybe? Sorry, but there are no maybes when lawyers are involved.

The men, Frank McBride and Kyle Doss, said they were part of a group of about 20 people who had gathered at West Hollywood’s Laugh Factory to celebrate a friend’s birthday. According to their attorney, Gloria Allred, they were ordering drinks when Richards berated them for interrupting his act.

One question: did the brothers go home that night and say, “You know, that Kramer guy called us “nigger.” I know; let’s call Gloria Allred!”

Yeah, that’s what happened. They called Gloria, right…?

When one of their group replied that he wasn’t funny, Richards launched into a string of obscenities and repeatedly used the n-word. A video cell phone captured the outburst.

Was using that video cell phone to record a live paid performance legal? Maybe Richards can sue somebody.

Richards, who played Jerry Seinfeld’s wacky neighbor Kramer on the TV sitcom “Seinfeld,” made a nationally televised apology on David Letterman’s “Late Night” show earlier this week. He has since apologized to civil rights leaders the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Now, this needs explaining.

Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton weren’t in the Laugh Factory that night. Can anyone, aside from an ignorant person, tell me why an apology was issued to them? I said ignorant because only an ignorant person would think that an apology to the Reverends was an apology to all black people.

And only an ignorant person would think Richards needed to apologize to all black people. I wasn’t there; Richards don’t owe me shit. I just won’t buy Seinfeld’s Season 7 DVD and I find myself channel surfing past the late night re-runs. Punishment enough.

But Allred complained Friday that he “has not apologized to his victims directly, face to face, man to man.”

Do real men really need such an over-hyped apology?

Richards’ publicist said his client wants to apologize to both men, who are black, but hasn’t been able to locate them.

I’ll leave that one alone….

Allred, speaking by phone from Colorado, said Richards should meet McBride and Doss in front of a retired judge to “acknowledge his behavior and to apologize to them” and allow the judge to decide on monetary compensation.

So this is where it was destined to go. Everybody wants Kramer’s money. This is sick.

“It’s not enough to say ‘I’m sorry,’” she said.

She did not mention a specific figure, but pitched the idea as a way for the comic to avoid a lawsuit.

No, this is called blackmail. Give us some money and we’ll all leave you alone… for now.

“Our clients were vulnerable,” Allred said. “He went after them. He singled them out and he taunted them, and he did it in a closed room where they were captive.”

Gloria, the men are black, but that doesn’t make them morons. I’ll bet if I got in a room alone with you, I could say some stuff that would make you want to up and leave… but if we were in a closed room, you’d be captive and have to take it, right?

Gimme a break. Those men could have walked out any time they wanted, but as insulting as it was, they were involved in that train wreck everyone wanted to watch. It’s not like this traumatic experience was the first time those men ever heard the word directed at them. For Gloria Allred to act like it was and demand a monetary payoff is shameless.

The video of Richards’ outburst shows several people getting up and walking out as he shouts at the audience.

Wow. Gloria, I guess some people weren’t captive in that closed room. In fact, some in the audience were dishing it right back to Richards. They didn’t seem that diminished by the taunting.

Richards’ publicist said the comic wasn’t considering any demand for payment. “He’s not dealing with that,” Howard Rubenstein said. “He wants to apologize to them directly and then see what happens.”

Mr. Rubenstein, damage control cannot be achieved when parasites like Jackson, Sharpton, and Allred are involved. Richards should never have called Jesse and Al in the first place. He claimed during his televised “apology” that some of his rage came from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and what happened to blacks in New Orleans. Some of his rage he blamed on the war. None of that means anything now.

Just when we forgot all about Amber Frey, we have the potential for weeks of Gloria Allred’s mug on television again. Christmas is coming, and Santa needs cash money for those presents. This is one time that the usual suspects have increased the value of the story.

The word “nigger” is worth money now. People had better be real careful when they use it. Allred sees a pattern emerging. White people beware: black people may start taunting you. If you use the n-word, you may get a letter from a blood-sucking lawyer.

Thanks, Michael. Thanks, Allred. This will be great for race relations.

Bob Parks is a member/writer for the National Advisory Council of Project 21, and VP of Marketing and Media Relations/Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc.

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