What's the deal with Jerry Seinfeld saying comedy doesn't need more diversity? On a CBS interview Tuesday, Jerry said, "It really pisses me off. People think [comedy] is the census or something, it's gotta represent the actual pie chart of America. Who cares?"
Fans grew irate that one of the forefathers of stand up said something so dismissive of the issue. What's the deal with all this outrage over Jerry's ignorance? Why is it that when you respect someone it's worse when they say something crappy? Have you ever noticed that people who are wildly successful and influential in their careers don't necessarily keep in touch with the issues that affect amateurs?
What's the deal with Jerry saying that comedy doesn't need to be representative of the population? That sounds like he doesn't want to reach out to a wider demographic of audiences. Who wouldn't want their audience to be wider? Unless they're taking their audience on airplanes; and then, what's the deal with airplane food? Is it food for people or food for the airplanes?
I do love Jerry Seinfeld, and I respect him and his contribution to art quite a bit. However, it always sucks to hear someone I look up to say that the lack of diversity in comedy is no big deal. I think a lot of baby boomers hold the belief that affirmative action isn't that important, because they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, so why can't everyone? But not everybody is born with bootstraps, or sneakerlaces, or sandal flippity flops.
Art should be more diverse so as to appeal to a more diverse audience. Art, in particular stand up comedy, can be really helpful, beautiful, cathartic, and inspirational for audiences, so why wouldn't we want to be able to share our art with more people?