Michael Richards Isn’t ‘Looking for a Comeback’ 18 Years After His Racist Rant

“Rather than run from it, I dove into the deep end and tried to learn from it,” the “Seinfeld” actor says ahead of his new memoir

Michael Richards, "Unfrosted"
Michael Richards, "Unfrosted"

Former “Seinfeld” star Michael Richards doesn’t ever expect forgiveness for that racist rant while performing at the Laugh Factory in 2006 that tanked his career. In his words, he’s “not looking for a comeback.”

“I was immediately sorry the moment I said it on stage,” he told People in an interview out Wednesday. “My anger was all over the place and it came through hard and fast. Anger is quite a force. But it happened. Rather than run from it, I dove into the deep end and tried to learn from it. It hasn’t been easy.”

Richards played Seinfeld’s neighbor and fan-favorite character Cosmo Kramer from 1989-1998 and won three Emmys for the role. He goes into detail in his upcoming memoir “Entrances and Exits” how everything changed after the 2006 video scandal. Now, he just wants to make things perfectly clear.

“I’m not racist,” Richards said. “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.”

Richards was initially advised to do damage control, but said he instead looked inward and discovered a number of insecurities that he’s spent the past nearly 20 years focusing on fixing.

“I was a good character actor,” he explained, “but I was comfortable being the character, not in being me.”

Richards isn’t the only “Seinfeld” alum making interview headlines. The titular Seinfeld himself Jerry Seinfeld recently gave the commencement speech at Duke University and spent time apologizing for the “sexual undertones” of “Bee Movie.”

“I made a cartoon movie about bees you may have watched as a child,” Seinfeld said. “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.”

Richards’ memoir “Entrances and Exits” releases June 4.


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