Two men who say they were insulted by actor-comedian Michael Richards during his racist rant at a comedy club want a personal apology and maybe some money, one of the men and their lawyer said Friday.
Frank McBride and Kyle Doss said they were part of a group of about 20 people who had gathered at West Hollywood’s Laugh Factory to celebrate a friend’s birthday. According to their attorney, Gloria Allred, they were ordering drinks when Richards berated them for interrupting his act.
When one of their group replied that he wasn’t funny, Richards launched into a string of obscenities and repeatedly used the n-word. A video cell phone captured the outburst.
Richards, who played Jerry Seinfeld’s wacky neighbor Kramer on the TV sitcom “Seinfeld,” made a nationally televised apology on the “Late Show with David Letterman” earlier this week. He has since apologized to the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, both civil rights leaders.
But Doss, 26, said Friday he wanted a “face-to-face apology.”
“To have him do what he did to me ... I can’t even explain it,” Doss said. “I was humiliated, even scared at one point.”
Richards’ publicist said his client wants to apologize to both men, who are black, but hasn’t been able to locate them.
Allred, speaking by phone from Colorado, said Richards should meet McBride and Doss in front of a retired judge to “acknowledge his behavior and to apologize to them” and allow the judge to decide on monetary compensation.
“It’s not enough to say ‘I’m sorry’ on ’David Letterman,”’ she said.
‘Our clients were vulnerable’
She did not mention a specific figure, but pitched the idea as a way for the comic to avoid a lawsuit.
“Our clients were vulnerable,” Allred said. “He went after them. He singled them out and he taunted them, and he did it in a closed room where they were captive.”
The video of Richards’ outburst shows several people getting up and walking out as he shouts at the audience.
Richards’ publicist said the comic wasn’t considering any demand for payment. “He’s not dealing with that,” Howard Rubenstein said. “He wants to apologize to them directly and then see what happens.”