Thursday, November 30, 2006
Everyone is talking about the Michael Richards freak-out. And it's no wonder. If you saw his racist freak out at the laugh factory, you might be left wondering, as I was, "What the hell."
Watching the video, I actually moaned in agony for Richards. It was just brutal to watch. It was as if he had gone completely mad and as he came back to reality, you could feel the horror in his voice. While I condemn the words he used, I have found myself respecting his apologies. He never blamed his racist speech on alcohol or drugs (which surprised me since he came off seriously whacked out) and he is making a real effort to start a dialogue, for example speaking on Jesse Jackson's radio show.
Richard's freak out, reminded me of the Mel Gibson's anti-Jew tirade, and it made me really start thinking about these celebrities with racist meltdowns. We give them a lot of press time because A) it's scandalous and B) It involves celebrities. Yet, I often find myself thinking-- would anyone give a second thought if a male celebrity went on a rampage insulting women?
For example, ---- If Michael Richards screamed into the audience "shut up ***" insert horrible word here "Bitch," "cunt" etc. Would we still be talking about it? Would he have to apologize on Leno, Letterman or whatever?
Think about it. In his arrest Mel Gibson also harassed a female police officer calling her "sugar tits." Hardly any press people reported on this and if they did, it was only in passing.
I certainly am not suggesting that slandering Jewish people or black people is any light matter. I'm glad the public is holding Michael Richards and Mel Gibson accountable and forcing them to accept some responsibility. However, I just wonder... would a vicious attack on women get similarly shunned by the public or would we shrug and just accept it as another example of woman-bashing?