Jerry Seinfeld is not a creature of the digital age. He’s a classic comedian who built a mega empire on observational comedy and a simply premised TV show back in the “simpler” times without everyone being connected to an internet megaphone all the time. Even his popular web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” despite its online popularity, comes from a simpler entertainment premise: slow down, relax and have a laugh.
So, it’s easy to excuse Jerry if he just doesn’t seem to “get” all the noise about his supposed dustup with pop singer Kesha. In case you missed in, here’s what all the kerfuffle is about…
Recently, during a red carpet appearance, the singer recognized Seinfeld, ran up and said she was a big fan. Okay so far. Then, when Kesha went in for a hug, Jerry politely declined. Kesha insisted … repeatedly. Jerry finally walked away. The internet, of course, erupted.
The furor over Seinfeld’s diss of Kesha was long and loud. Some just brushed it off as a famously brusque comedian simply being himself. Others had more inflammatory things to say. Soon, Jerry’s name was being dragged through the proverbial mud on social media. His crime? Well, that seemed to be in the eye of the beholder.
But the furor continued. Eventually, reporters from Extra caught up with Seinfeld and asked him about the altercation that caused so much put-on hoopla. Seinfeld said the brush off of Kesha wasn’t personal. He admitted his age played a role in the awkward exchange: “I’m 63, I don’t know every pop star… I don’t know everyone… When you get to be my age, and you’ve done a couple things, you have your own reality, in my reality…”
He left that hanging there for a moment before saying what many Seinfeld defenders were thinking: “I don’t hug a total stranger. I have to meet someone, say hello. I gotta start somewhere…”
Seinfeld went on to say he met up with Kesha later and they talked about the whole deal, laughing it off…though he still avoided hugging the pop star.
There’s a few lessons here for everyone. First, the optics of something can be much worse than intended, especially when context is added and things are played for drama or controversy online. It’s best to get out in front of what you can.
Second, as fans, no matter who you are, just running up and interrupting someone, especially if they’re in the middle of an interview, is pretty rude.