In a recent interview, Jerry Seinfeld said that he doesn't care what race a comedian is - if you're funny, he likes you. If you're not funny, well you're not on his radar, probably. I'm of course paraphrasing a bit, but the overall idea is that race, gender, etc. shouldn't matter in the world of comedy (it doesn't). However, there was (of course) the outrage of the politically correct crowd, who exist online as a fast-moving gob of slime moving from one outrage to the next.
The outage fed three posts, one at Gawker, one at Vulture, and the other at BuzzFeed. Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon has a brief timeline of the events surrounding the outburst of outrage. Let's start with Gawker.
Jerry Seinfeld, the most successful comedian in the world and maker of comedy for and about white people, isn't interested in trying to include non-white anything in his work.
When asked why he featured so many white men in his web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee during a Buzzfeed interview on CBS This Morning, Seinfeld seemed offended by the very question. "It really pisses me off," he said. "People think [comedy] is the census or something, it's gotta represent the actual pie chart of America. Who cares?"
The post goes on, but I try to spend as little time on Gawker as possible, and I suggest my readers do the same. Next up, the Vulture piece.
When asked about online reaction to the predominance of white male comedians on his web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld wanted to clarify that he really, really does not give a tiny rat's behind about the issue of racial or gender diversity in comedy.
And, finally, BuzzFeed.
At the height of Seinfeld’s popularity, the NBC comedy was repeatedly accused of presenting an exclusively “white” view of its diverse New York City setting. During Jerry Seinfeld’s BuzzFeed Brews with CBS This Morning interview on Monday, BuzzFeed Business Editor Peter Lauria asked about the enduring criticism, which has carried over to his Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee web series.
It also didn't take long for Twitter to chime in, but for the sake of all of us, I won't post some of those tweets.
Here's the thing, Outrage Culture: You're looking for something to be outraged about. Gawker accuses Seinfeld of belittling minority comics, but they themselves are the ones negating everything that non-white male comics have done over the years. When you think of some of the top comics of all time, unless you were born in a cave, you include Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby. It's hard to not think of Chris Rock or Aziz Ansari or Sinbad. Tina Fey is one of the most popular female comedienne's right now.
Yes, you have famous white comics, too. George Carlin, Louis C.K. and many others are synonymous with successful comedy. But there is one thing all of these comics have in common - they appeal across racial and gender lines. These guys are hilarious no matter your race or sex. Gawker, Vulture, BuzzFeed and the rest of the outrage culture that exists online (don't get me wrong, right wing sites love to find anything to be outraged at, too. Like the "America the Beautiful" Coke ad during the Super Bowl.) are once again doing what left-leaning commentators do.
They love to turn diversity issues into the story. There was no reason for people to blow up like they did if people actually read what he said and understood his point. Of course, rational thought doesn't seem to be a strength of the outrage culture, so long as you try to tug at someone's emotions to get them to like your views.