Jerry Seinfeld Apologizes for Interspecies ‘Sexual Undertones’ in ‘Bee Movie’ | Video

The comedian’s Duke University commencement speech was otherwise met with a student walk-out over his stance on the Israel-Hamas war

Jerry Seinfeld humorously apologized for the interspecies “sexual undertones” seemingly present in his 2007 animated film “Bee Movie” during his commencement speech at Duke University’s graduation ceremony on Sunday.

“I made a cartoon movie about bees you may have watched as a child,” Seinfeld said before a crowd of graduating seniors on Sunday, which can be viewed via TikTok in the embed below. “If any of you felt slighted or uncomfortable about the sexual undertones in the relationship between Barry B. Benson and Vanessa, the florist who saves his life, I would like to apologize for that now … I may not have calibrated that perfectly.”

Seinfeld’s son and daughter are undergraduates at the university , which awarded the actor and comedian with an honorary degree this year.

The commencement address was not the first time Seinfeld brought the topic up of human-bee sexual tension to attention. In October 2021, he addressed the apparent themes during his guest appearance on “The Tonight Show.”

“I apologize for what seems to be a certain uncomfortable subtle sexual aspect of ‘Bee Movie,’” Seinfeld said on the late night program. “[It] really was not intentional, but after it came out, I realized this is really not appropriate for children. Because the bee seems to have a thing for the girl, and we don’t really want to pursue that as an idea in children’s entertainment.”

While Seinfeld gained some laughs during his time at the podium, others weren’t too happy about his presence due to his support of Israel amid the Israel-Hamas war. Many students were seen and heard chanting “free Palestine” while Seinfeld accepted his degree, and a group of about 30 students walked out of the ceremony altogether.

Even outside of the ceremony, which took place on Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina, graduates protested with chants of, “Disclose, divest. We will not stop, we will not rest.”

Sunday’s demonstration is one of many that has taken place at college campuses over the past several weeks. While having an apparent stake in the ongoing debate over Israel’s military action in Gaza, Seinfeld kept his speech brief and funny, reflecting on his upbringing and background.

“I grew up a Jewish boy from New York,” Seinfeld said in a joking manner. “That is a privilege if you want to be a comedian.”

Watch Seinfeld speech in full in the video above.

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