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10 'Seinfeld' Episodes That Might Be Considered Racist and Sexist Today

July 21, 2015 in Blogs

By Sola Agustsson, AlterNet

The four main characters sometimes had a reactionary attitude toward woman and minorities.

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock or aren’t in a serious relationship with every online streaming service like I am, you’ve probably noticed that episdoes of Seinfeld are all available to stream on Hulu. As I’ve been spending my summer rewatching all nine seasons, I’ve noticed that it still remains a funny and original show, but is unapologetic about its lack of diversity. Like HBO’s Girls, it focuses on four narcissists living in New York City. Seinfeld’s characters are often without jobs, yet somehow afford spacious Upper Westside apartments. They move about the world totally oblivious to their white privilege.

As Jerry Seinfeld has said, he is opposed to adhering to political correctness in comedy. “I don't play colleges, but I hear a lot of people tell me, Don't go near colleges. They're so PC.” He has dismissed critics who point to the show’s lack of diversity, replying, “People think it’s the census or something, it’s gotta represent the actual pie chart of America. Who cares? Funny is the world that I live in. You’re funny, I’m interested. You’re not funny, I’m not interested. I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that, but everyone else is, kind of with their little 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 or not.”

While the show features Jewish characters (and was even criticized by NBC’s Brandon Tartikoff for being “too Jewish”), critics lamented the show’s lack of diversity even in the 1990s. “The show has never been terribly concerned with political correctness. Its depictions of minorities, from Babu the Pakistani who was eventually deported because of Jerry’s carelessness to the Greek diner owner with an apparent yen for amply endowed waitresses, can be patronizing. And its attitudes toward women can become downright hostile, as the final episode illustrated with its portrait of a gleefully nasty female network executive,” said New York Times writer John J. O’Connor.

Comedians often use politically incorrect language to …read more


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