TV To Blame for Seinfeld Star's Racist Rant?


The NAACP wants to talk to former Seinfeld star Michael Richards, and suggests that TV may be partly to blame for his racist rant at an L.A. comedy club this week.

The Hollywood chapter says it has put in calls to the comedian's representatives and is waiting to hear back.

Richards used the "n" word and a reference to lynching in an outburst prompted by some hecklers.

Richards apologized, but the NAACP wasn't convinced by his assertion that he was not a racist.

"His declaration that he is not a racist is indicative of the type of denial that too often accompany racist rhetoric," the group said in a statement Friday. "Too many Americans are living in what has been called the 51st State--the state of denial. Before Mr. Richards and lamentably millions of other Americans can confront and correct the cancerous disease of racism that is hidden in their hearts, they must first acknowledge that it exists and that they have it.”

It also pointed the finger at the media: "The NAACP believes that racism is taught. Media, particularly television, has proven to be a powerful teacher," the group said. "The NAACP recognizes that when it comes to forming ideas and establishing norms, nothing is more influential than the images and concepts delivered into our lives on a daily basis by radio, television, film and the Internet."