Why, after Michael Richards' rant, have 'Seinfeld' DVD sales risen?

Imagined conversation between two Americans last week:

American 1: Hey, uh, so didja see that Kramer dude use the N-word?
American 2: Like, no — where?
American 1: It’s on the Internets. He was doing stand-up and like lost it or something.
American 2: Shut up! [pushes American 1]
American 1: For reals, yo.
American 2: Dude, that’s like, not OK.
American 1: Dude, I know.
American 2: It’s, like, really wrong to use that word.
American 1: No kidding.
American 2: Maybe everyone in the entertainment industry should boycott it or something.
American 1: I was just thinking that myself. For surely that will solve the ongoing problem of race relations in this country. I am certain, in fact, that semantics are the biggest problem facing society today.

American 2: I am enraged.
American 1: Me too.
American 2: …
American 1: …
American 2: So, like, whaddaya want to do now?
American 1: Uh… I hear the seventh season of Seinfeld is out on DVD — wanna go buy it?
American 2: Totally!
American 1: Cool!

Now repeat this conversation however many times it takes to equal a 75 percent sales increase over Season 6 and… scene!


Comments (38 total) Add your comment
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  • Fatima

    I’m sorry Jesse Jackson….but you have gone too far.

  • brandonk

    Maybe people are confused about the meaning of “boycott,” as “Bill O’Reilly” was in SNL’s spoof a couple of weeks ago…

  • Jennifer

    As for why sales have gone up, I don’t know. If people suddenly just decided that they wanted to watch Seinfeld to see Richards they could have tuned in to any number of channels between 6 and 8 and caught a rerun. So who knows the reasoning for buying the set.
    That being said– I don’t think the answer is not watching Seinfeld or not buying the box set if you want it. While I may never look at Kramer the same again, no sense in punishing Jerry Seinfeld for something one of his co-stars did. Kramer isn’t the star character of the show and Richards wasn’t the creative force behind it. It’s not the same as boycotting Apocalypto because of Mel Gibson– who is clearly the driving force behind that movie.

  • junior

    Not surprised. People will do anything for publicity, and more money.

  • nac

    i am a black female and personally never, ever use the N-word, because I think there is absolutely no way that word can be untainted from its derogatory past. that being said, i think ‘seinfeld’ is one of the best, if not the best show television has ever produced, and so the antics of a psychologically challenged (and possibly racist) actor should not mar what the sales of what is a worthy product in a ‘seinfeld’ dvd. for me cosmo kramer is a character removed from michael richards, and i must say, i’ve always liked kramer.

  • bb

    Michael Richards’ rant is about Michael Richards. It has absolutely nothing to do with the sitcom Seinfeld.

  • EP Sato

    The Washingtonpost had two op eds that I thought brought up great points about this debacle. First, one of their columnists pointed out that the “good” side to this is that we’ve pretty much seen national condemnation of the recent comments made by Mr. Cosmo Kramer and by Mad Max. Maybe 10 years ago a lot of people would have said “that’s not a big deal”. Nowadays there’s a near total condemnation of these guys for acting like jackasses.
    The other article talked about how the real problem is that a lot of hatred still exists in America, and that a lot of people just cover it up without trying to learn why we need to lose the biases that keep us all down.

  • Ed

    When Kramer went on David Letterman, it was Kramer who was on screen not Michael Richards. The audience couldn’t help but laugh because he was playing the puzzled face baffoon he plays on T.V.
    Personally, I think this was all a set up. Mel Gibson set the bar; if he can get away with it, anybody can.

  • Kelly

    It’s also the holiday season. With so many Seinfeld fans in the world, I’m sure some of that spike is due to early Christmas shoppers.
    Granted, this whole debacle brought back an old sitcom back into the limelight.

  • B-more

    It was an ignorant statement Jesse “cheated on his wife and has an illigitimate child” to demand the DVD be boycotted. Jerry got on Letterman and issued a statement which was fine with my BLACK daughter who loves the show. She even changed her mind on Richards after we discussed what rappers etc get away with. As I have said Richards thought he was doing Chris Rock’s version of what constitutes a N%$$# to get back at the hecklers. He needs to call Chris and learn the rules of comedy. I’m pissed Jesse is getting all this ego PR he craves!

  • Jen O.
  • Chris

    My humble opinion:
    The use of the word was offensive. As a black man, I find it offensive when anyone uses that word, regardless of their race. As a human, I am equally offended when anyone uses a term that is deemed derogatory against a certain group of people. There is a racist term for every race on this earth, and they all should be viewed as hate speech and should not be used, especially by people in the public eye.
    That being said, in regards to this particular situation, I was more offended by the statement that a few years ago the gentlemen in the audience would be hanging from a tree (I papaphrase here). To me that is more than just using a word that is taboo, that is glorifying a chapter in history that many have fought hard to condemn and overcome.
    Should we boycott the series? I don’t know, that is a personal choice. But a mere apology does not erase the disappointment that comes from the realization that black people’s money has been helping support someone who reminds them at one time they were hanging in trees.

  • Joel

    There are far more people involved with the making of this DVD than Michael Richards. Why should they all be punished for one man’s mistake?

  • EP Sato

    Boycott or no, Richards isn’t exactly desparate for money. Didn’t all the Seinfeld cast members get $1 million per episode for the show’s last season? Unless he’s married to Kevin Federline, Michael Richards should still have a decent % of that money left.
    That said, Mr. Jackson’s time is better spent taking to task the producers at CBS, who don’t seem to want any people of color in any of their sitcoms. Old Christine, How I met your Mother, King of Queens, The Class, where are the brown or black people on these urban based shows? It seems CBS’s only show with a brother is “Jericho” and he’s made into some sort of magical mysterious uncle remus.
    Flip that to NBC. My Name is Earl (which is about “white trash” culture), The Office, 30 Rock, Scrubs, Friday Night Lights all have significant contributions from actors of color, and NBC’s sci fi shows like Heroes, Eureka and BSG feature incredibly diverse casts. ABC’s Lost was the first show in recent memory to feature show an Asian man with sex appeal. Fox and the CW have been good about diversity for a while too.
    So while calling out folks for saying “Ninja” is important, why not call out the shows that refuse to integrate their casts? Mr. Jackson’s efforts would better serve us all if he focused on making a real change instead of a band aid solution.

  • Mike

    Here is my take on it. Season 7 was one of the best, it includes the Soup Nazi. I don’t blame the show for the mistake of Michael Richards. I’m not a Michael Richards fan, I never have been. I liked Kramer, but I loved the show. Did anyone ever see the movie Trial & Error with Mr. Richards? People should’ve been outraged after that piece of junk came out!

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