Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Michael Richards and Judith Regan: Not Jews

Michael Richards has been a popular topic of conversation over in message board world. A good chunk of the discussion has been focused on Richard's Jewish background. Unfortunately for any semblance of cyber-accuracy, Michael Richards is not Jewish. Not even a little bit. (Neither was Cosmo Kramer.)

This probably explains why Richards didn't "learn" anything from the Mel Gibson incident. It also absolves the Jewish people of having a devilish double-standard on the important issue of offensive celebrity language. For now at least. Of course there are many Jewish celebrities, and one could go on a racist rant at any moment and send all the Jews back to the hypocrisy doghouse.

Although controversial book publisher Judith Regan wouldn't be the one. Not because she doesn't have an offensive tirade in her, but because, like Richards, she is not Jewish. This would come as surprise to anyone who has been reading posts about Regan and her involvement in the OJ Simpson book controversy on the
message boards.

While I understand why Richards is assumed to be Jewish -- every other major figure involved with Seinfeld is -- Regan is a common Irish-American last name. I guess it's possible to be both Irish and Jewish. That mix would describe
Leopold Bloom, although he is a fictional character.

Is Regan maternally Jewish? Nope. A quick Wikipedia
check reveals Regan gets her slightly Mediterranean looks from a Sicilian mom. Where she gets her scruple-less love of money remains an open question.

It blows me away that so many different commentators would make such strong anti-Semitic comments without even bothering to confirm their target is really Jewish.
Wikepedia is set up for easy religious and ethnic ID. When one is already on the Internet, how hard can checking this valuable resource tool be?

There is all sorts of fascinating stuff on Wikipedia. I just learned Judith Regan has been described as the world's highest functioning deranged person.

That's an impressive accomplishment. And, despite what you may hear, one the Jews can not claim.

1 comment:

Gone to the blogs said...

For some reason, I can't get this whole scandal out of my head. Last night in my home market, the syndicated Seinfeld re-run had Kramer importing "Cubans" to roll cigars. When they are found to be Dominicans instead, they are relegated to rolling crepes at a restaurant. Not exactly P.C. fare.

It got me thinking about the rather startling number of times race and bias were used as comic devices on the show. (Kramer burns Puerto Rican flag, Kramer in blackface, Elaine stigmatizes her own relationship with a boyfriend she believes to be black, George befriends a black exterminator to curry favor with a higher-up, Kramer as a pimp, Jerry and Kramer insult a Native American woman, Jackie Chiles plays staccato-tongued sterotypical black firebrand, etc, etc.).

I'm starting to wonder why and how this theme got woven so deeply into the fabric of the show. And I've also come to realize why it was necessary (and self-preserving) for Jerry Seinfeld to make the statement the other night that he was "sick" over the whole Michael Richards incident.