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Last Days of Seinfeld

Source: David Hume Kennerly / Gett

It’s been nearly 20 years since Seinfeld star Michael Richards went on a career-upending racist tirade at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles in 2006. Since then, he has apologized for his outburst and claimed he isn’t really racist despite the explicitly racist words that poured loudly and passionately out of his mouth.

Now, he’s on his apology tour once again ahead of the release of his memoir that nobody asked for, Entrances and Exits.

“I was immediately sorry the moment I said it onstage,” Richards told People magazine of the infamous moment in which he repeatedly called at least one Black audience member the n-word for reportedly heckling him. “I’m not looking for a comeback.” (Well, maybe not, but he’s promoting a memoir, which makes his little two-decade-late mea culpa just as self-serving as it would if he was trying to make a comeback.)

“My anger was all over the place and it came through hard and fast,” he continued. “Anger is quite a force. But it happened. Rather than run from it, I dove into the deep end and tried to learn from it. It hasn’t been easy. Crisis managers wanted me to do damage control. But as far as I was concerned, the damage was inside of me.”

After pretending he wasn’t making lame excuses by citing his “anger” as the reason for his violently racist remarks, the guy who played Kramer said he spent years doing a “deep analysis,” trying to “figure out where all the anger was coming from,” which he determined was his insecurities as an artist, which he later said “fame magnified.”

Yeah, OK—or maybe he’s just racist.

“I’m not racist,” Richards maintained. “I have nothing against Black people. The man who told me I wasn’t funny had just said what I’d been saying to myself for a while. I felt put down. I wanted to put him down.”

For the record: Michael Richards called “the man” the n-word multiple times and implied that he should be lynched because that’s what happened to Black people “50 years ago.” (If you’re unfamiliar with the scandal, you can see it for yourself.) One doesn’t just come up with something like that on the fly because their anger got the best of them—they already had those words in their heart. 

Richards can keep his apology.