Tags: jerry seinfeld | minorities | tv | quotas

Seinfeld: Worries About Diversity in Comedy are 'PC Nonsense'

By Melissa Clyne   |   Wednesday, 05 Feb 2014 02:20 PM

Jerry Seinfeld has no interest in getting into the diversity debate on television.

During a BuzzFeed interview on "CBS This Morning," Seinfeld, in his trademark dry tone, told Peter Lauria that he's annoyed by the enduring question about whether the cast of his new Web series, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," is stacked with white men like himself.

“[Do] people think it’s the census or something?” Seinfeld quipped, drawing laughter from the audience. “We represent the actual pie chart of America? Who cares? I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that.”

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He jokingly told Lauria to “take a look around, Peter, what do you see? A lotta whitey! What’s going on here?” before getting more serious and explaining his position.

“Everyone else is calculating, is this the exact right mix? To me, it’s anti-comedy. It’s more about PC nonsense than are you making us laugh?”

Time magazine writer Lily Rothman devoted a column to Seinfeld’s interview and the subject of race and gender diversity in comedy, saying the comedian “might regret being so flip.”

His answer, she opined, “is now driving the latest controversy over the racial and gender makeup of the comedy world.”

“It’s possible that 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' won’t drive conversation for long enough to have an impact, but if the issue stays in the spotlight, Seinfeld’s perspective will lose,” Rothman wrote.

“A continued lack of diversity on his show would prove his detractors’ point — and make him look racist and sexist, even if he’s merely failing to actively think about matters of race and sex — while increased diversity would seem to acknowledge that the “nonsense” isn’t so nonsensical at all.

"There’s no longer a way for a prominent comedian with Seinfeld’s level of influence to be so glib about the issue — especially given that of his 26 guests, only two have been women and another two have been nonwhite. (There have been no minority women guests so far.)”

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