Michael Richards said Sunday he did not consider himself a racist, and said he was “shattered” by the comments he made to two young black men during a tirade at a Los Angeles comedy club.
Richards appeared on the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s nationally syndicated radio program, “Keep Hope Alive,” as a part of a series of apologies for the incident. He said he knew his comments hurt the black community, and hoped to meet with the two men.
He told Jackson that he had not used the language before.
“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,” he said.
Richards, who played Jerry Seinfeld’s wacky neighbor Kramer on the TV sitcom “Seinfeld,” was performing at West Hollywood’s Laugh Factory last week when he lashed out at hecklers with a string of racial obscenities and profane language. A cell phone video camera captured the outburst, and the incident later appeared on TMZ.com.
Richards told Jackson the tirade was fueled by anger, not bigotry. He said, “I was in a place of humiliation.”
Richards’ publicist, Howard Rubenstein, said Saturday that Richards has begun psychiatric counseling in Los Angeles to learn how to manage his anger and understand why he made the racist remarks.