Remember last week when Michael Richards phoned both Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to apologise for screaming racial slurs during a stand-up set and, although Sharpton spoke out against Richards, Jesse Jackson stayed quiet on the matter?
Remember thinking that that didn't really sound like something that Jesse Jackson would do? Well it wasn't – and yesterday Michael Richards was the invited guest on Jesse Jackson's radio show. Weirdly enough, Michael Richards kept the jokes about sticking forks up black people's rectums to a minimum, instead telling everyone that he was "shattered" by the racist words that came streaming out of his mouth. Michael Richards made the appearance as part of his 'if I go on about it for long enough then maybe everyone will get bored and go away' apology tour.
It's a situation we can all identify with – you're trying to make a few wisecracks to some friends and a couple of men keep interrupting you. Before you know it you've screamed the word 'nigger' seven times, made a spectacularly doltish joke about lynching and bellowed "That's what happened when you interrupt the white man" at them. Chances are it's happened to all of us, but Michael Richards is the only one who's been caught doing this all over YouTube.
After the video of Michael Richards screaming racial abuse at his stand-up audience hit the net, Michael Richards has been following the tried and true Mel Gibson apology scheme; first comes a bumbling semi-sincere apology – this was done on Letterman – and then comes a more considered apology to offended community leaders. Mel Gibson took this opportunity to apologise to the Anti-Defamation League, while last week Michael Richards said sorry to both Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson.
Michael Richards' apology to Al Sharpton wasn't exactly the greatest success – Sharpton said he wouldn't forgive the outburst – but yesterday Michael Richards made an appearance on the Jesse Jackson radio show Keep Hope Alive to apologise to every black human being who was offended by his racist outburst – except for 50 Cent, who Michael Richards thinks is a bit of a dick.
Oh, OK, he didn't say that. But, possibly sensing that going on a nationally syndicated radio show hosted by a leading civil rights activist and admitting that he couldn't stand the sight or smell of black people would be something of a backwards step, Michael Richards instead insisted to everyone that he wasn't a racist and had never even used the word 'nigger' before, adding:
“That’s why I’m shattered by it. The way this came through me was like a freight train. After it was over, when I went to look for them, they had gone. And I’ve tried to meet them, to talk to them, to get some healing.”
So that's the rubbish apology and the slightly better apology got out of the way. Now all that's left for Michael Richards to do is to make a confusing-looking film about an ancient civilisation that's scripted entirely in a dead language and his Mel Gibson-approved rehabilitation will be complete.