Though Pilloried By the "Virtuous," Seinfeld Stands His Ground Re P.C. Sabotaging the Business of Funny
Harry Stein cites a recent encounter which demonstrates Jerry's stubborn streak:
To his credit, Seinfeld isn’t backing down. In fact—and, perhaps this, too, speaks to his sense of invulnerability—he seems more eager than ever to engage the issue, as was clear on the Seth Meyers program. The host is straightforwardly liberal; the other guest that evening, New Yorker editor David Remnick, is that and more—a man ever vigilant, lest an errant thought slip into his magazine.
“There’s a creeping p.c. thing out there that really bothers me,” Seinfeld opined of the troubling audience’s reaction at his recent performance, and Meyers and Remnick readily professed to agree.
“But you can also screw up,” said Remnick, noting that thanks to the web, he instantly hears about it whenever he does.
When that happens, asked Meyers, “Do you look back on the work and say ‘Wait, did we make a mistake?’”
“Of course,” said Remnick. “If you have half a brain you give it a second look.”
“When was that?” challenged Seinfeld, from down the couch. “Tell us about that?”
Remnick replied that one of the magazine’s recent covers had so offended “a guy on CNN” that the guy told him, on the air, that it “could have been a cover on a Nazi magazine.”
Seinfeld wasn’t buying. “Explain and defend, not apologize. Did you apologize? . . . Have you ever done that?”
No, Remnick said, but added that some cover sketches do go over the line, and sometimes there’s “a misfire—I got a misfire today.”
“What does that mean, you got a misfire?” Seinfeld asked.
“It was a sketch about a possible cover about the Vanity Fair cover recently,” Remnick said, referring to Vanity Fair’s Caitlyn Jenner cover. “But it didn’t work.”
“I would like to know what it was,” pressed Seinfeld.
“You’re not gonna get it.”
The audience laughed and applauded, as if it was all in good fun, but Seinfeld was clearly in earnest. A moment later, he turned to the other media heavy, Meyers. “I saw on Instagram where you said, ‘I’m not going to make any jokes about Caitlyn Jenner.’”
Meyers looked momentarily abashed, before replying, lamely, “I said ‘that day.’ I sort’ve thought that was a wonderful moment, so it wasn’t a good time to make jokes.”
“Oh, good,” allowed Seinfeld drily. “I feel better about it.”
It goes without saying that I do too.
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