Michael Richards Breaks Silence on Racial Outburst 18 Years Later

Michael Richards is ready to talk about that racial outburst that cancelled him for nearly two decades.

The Seinfeld star has rarely been heard from in the last 18 years after an infamous incident in 2006 labeled him a racist and unwelcome in Hollywood.

Now, Michael has written a memoir, discussing all the major moments of his life. He talks about his rise to fame, his secret battle with cancer, and for the first time, the night he threw around the n-word during a comedy show.

Michael Richards attends the Inaugural Los Angeles Fatherhood Lunch to Benefit Baby Buggy hosted by Jerry Seinfeld at The Palm Restaurant on March 4, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Baby Buggy)

Michael Richards on the Racial Outburst That Cost Him His Career

The Seinfeld actor revealed to People that he’s finally ready to address the 2006 incident in which he was caught on camera throwing around the n-word as he was heckled on stage for his stand-up.

Since that fateful night, Michael has not been welcome in many circles in Hollywood. In fact, he left the business all together, once the footage saw the light of day.

Emerging to promote his new memoir, Entrances and Exits, Michael explained just how guilty he felt about the situation, but insists he isn’t “looking for a comeback.”

“I was immediately sorry the moment I said it onstage,” he said, while also acknowledging that the words he spewed can’t be unheard. “Crisis managers wanted me to do damage control,” he shared, but insisted he was unable to do that because “the damage is inside me.”

‘Seinfeld’ star Michael Richards attends the premiere of Atlas Films’ “Fed Up” at Pacfic Design Center on May 8, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Still, there was one important point he wanted to make.

“I’m not racist. I have nothing against Black people. The man who told me I wasn’t funny had just said what I’d been saying to myself for a while. I felt put down. I wanted to put him down.” Michael added that he’s since learned from looking inward, “Anger is quite a force,” so “rather than run from it, I dove into the deep end and tried to learn from it.”

His Secret Cancer Battle That Almost Cost Him His Life

On April 30, Seinfeld fans were surprised to see Michael at the premiere of Jerry Seinfeld’s new movie, Unfrosted. While the world turned it’s back on Richards after his racial outburst, his former co-star did not.

But the rare appearance was also the start of his press journey to promote his upcoming memoir. Along diving into the fallout of his huge misstep, Michael will also discuss the other major life event of the last two decades.

His prostate cancer diagnosis.

michael richards jerry seinfeld
Michael Richards and Jerry Seinfeld attend the Los Angeles premiere of Netflix’s “UNFROSTED” at The Egyptian Theatre Hollywood on April 30, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

He first learned of his condition in 2008, and to hear him tell it, he was almost ready to let the worst happen.

“I thought, well, this is my time. I’m ready to go,” he told People. “But then my son came to mind just a few seconds later, and I heard myself saying, ‘I’ve got a 9-year-old, and I’d like to be around for him. Is there any way I can get a little more life going?’”

His doctor then recommended removing the comedian’s entire prostate because the biopsy “didn’t look good.”

“It had to be contained quickly,” Michael explained. “I had to go for the full surgery. If I hadn’t, I probably would have been dead in about eight months.”

If you’re looking to learn more, Entrances and Exits will hit shelves June 4.

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