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‘Red flag’: Julia Louis-Dreyfus doesn’t share Jerry Seinfeld’s political correctness view – National


Unlike her Seinfeld co-star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with political correctness.

In a new profile by The New York Times, the 63-year-old actor was asked about Jerry Seinfeld’s outspoken opinions on the pitfalls of creating comedy in today’s culture.

In April, Seinfeld told The New Yorker Radio Hour that TV has grown unfunny because of “PC crap” and the “extreme left.” He said sitcoms today fail to tickle funny bones because comedy writers and creators are too worried that they will offend their audiences.

Louis-Dreyfus, however, said she often sees complaints about political correctness in comedy as a “red flag.”

“If you look back on comedy and drama both, let’s say 30 years ago, through the lens of today, you might find bits and pieces that don’t age well,” she explained. “And I think to have an antenna about sensitivities is not a bad thing. It doesn’t mean that all comedy goes out the window as a result.”

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On a new episode of The New Yorker Radio Hour, Jerry Seinfeld talks with David Remnick about his new film on the history of Pop-Tarts, the changing norms in comedy, and turning 70. Listen to their full conversation at the link in our bio. #jerryseinfeld #unfrosted #podtok

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“When I hear people starting to complain about political correctness — and I understand why people might push back on it — but to me that’s a red flag, because it sometimes means something else,” she continued. “I believe being aware of certain sensitivities is not a bad thing. I don’t know how else to say it.”


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When Louis-Dreyfus and the New York Times interviewer spoke again days later, the Veep actor clarified her comments about political correctness.

“My feeling about all of it is that political correctness, insofar as it equates to tolerance, is obviously fantastic,” she said. “And of course I reserve the right to boo anyone who says anything that offends me, while also respecting their right to free speech.”

Louis-Dreyfus said the “bigger problem” in the entertainment industry is not political correctness, but rather “the consolidation of money and power.”

She said the siloing of production studios, streaming platforms and distributors may be stifling creative voices and threatening art as a whole.

In part for this reason, Louis-Dreyfus said she does not think Seinfeld could be made for TV today because it’s difficult to get backing and support for new and original TV ideas.

“When Seinfeld was made, it was really unlike anything that was on at the time. It was just a bunch of losers hanging out,” she recalled. “Particularly nowadays, everyone’s sort of running scared.”

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Louis-Dreyfus said she “can’t judge” whether comedy today is better specifically because comedians are more wary about how their jokes will be received. She said simply that writers in the modern era, of both comedy and drama, must create art through “a different lens” than in decades prior.

In his own interview from April, Seinfeld agreed that producing Seinfeld today would be very different. He cited edgier jokes, specifically an episode in which Kramer hires a group of unhoused men to pull rickshaws through the city, as the type of Seinfeld bit that would be barred from TV today.

Seinfeld’s take on political correctness has drawn both praise and scorn, a trend that has continued throughout the press run for his directorial debut with the film Unfrosted, about the origin of the Pop-Tart.

In May, the 70-year-old actor said he’s nostalgic for “dominant masculinity” and an “agreed-upon hierarchy” that existed in decades prior.


Click to play video: 'Unfrosted: Jerry Seinfeld on directing his first feature film'


Unfrosted: Jerry Seinfeld on directing his first feature film


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