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Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Jerry Seinfeld on Diversity in Comedy: "Who Cares?"


During his Buzzfeed Brews interview with CBS This Morning yesterday, Jerry Seinfeld was asked by Peter Lauria about the predominantly white male list of guests featured on his hit web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Seinfeld's response, which you can watch in the above clip, seemed as tired of the question as it was defensive:

People think it's the census or something … 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?'

He's right that funny is funny, but his answer also conveniently absolves him of any responsibility to highlight voices that haven't been given the same opportunities as the white, male voices that are very obviously given priority in the media. Sure, Seinfeld isn't a network development exec, but he does sit in a position of great power and influence in the comedy world. Nobody wants him to have less funny people on his web series just because they're not white men, but putting a little more effort into discovering more diverse voices that are just as funny as his white male friends would certainly not do his show any harm.