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Richards Reaches Out To Civil Rights Leaders

11/22/2006 3:29 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Jesse Jackson, Michael Richards, Al SharptonTMZ has learned that Michael Richards is reaching out to civil rights leaders, asking for forgiveness.

Uber-publicist Howard Rubenstein, who was hired just today by the "Seinfeld" star, tells TMZ that Richards was on the phone today with Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton, apologizing for his racial rant last Friday at L.A.'s Laugh Factory -- a rant captured on video and first shown on TMZ.

Rubenstein says Richards has made other phone calls today as well, expressing regret for his comments. Rubenstein says, "He's appalled at what he did and wants to start the healing process." Rubenstein adds, "Whether it be an attack on any racial group -- disguised or posed as humor -- he acknowledges it's horrible and wrong and he will never do that again."

Rubenstein says the calls were received "positively." Sharpton, however, stated publicly that he did not buy Richards' apology on "Letterman."

194 COMMENTS

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1.

Woodman22    

A good start to end a bad situation.

2803 days ago
2.

Leesa    

I am sick of it already. Get over it. Hell, someone called me a white cracker the other day. i didnt call the White House. I am just sick that its ok that white people get bashed and it is ok, that much stink isnt made, however if another race is insulted, the big guns are called in. what the hell. I am not racist but come on. I have been to comedy clubs that bust on whites all the time. I understand his rage seemed anger. what was it the heckler was heckling. Did anyone think of that. I know he is the professional but come on. I wasnt there so I dont know but come on, there is a war going on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Move on already

2803 days ago
3.

Vanessa    

Sooo LAME!!! Get over it. Don't try to back pedal now! You said it....own up to it!!

2803 days ago
4.

PDX    

This is the right way to go for him. I hope Michael spends some serious time with leaders of the African-American community.

But I also hope the hecklers don't receive a dime of his money - that's such a joke.

2803 days ago
5.

coco puff    

He's only sorry that he got caught on video. This guy is evil to the core. I hope all the brothers in attendance sue his ass.

2803 days ago
6.

margaret    

PLEASE tell me that this actor doesn't think that talking to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will smooth this over in the black community?

I would love to meet a person who really thinks these people are leaders of black america. I have no particular sense of loyalty to any of these "media appointed leaders of black america"
And it's amazing that Richards really thinks he can apologize to them and make it all better.
Would love to hear those conversations though, I admit it :)

2803 days ago
7.

babydoll    

WHY DO PEOPLE THINK JESSE AND AL REPRESENT ALL OF US!!! I AM NOT A BIG FAN OF EITHER, REALLY! THE RIGHT THING TO DO IS APOLOGIZE (SINCERELY) AND TAKE SOME CULTURAL AWARENESS CLASSES AND WORK ON HIMSELF. THE BOTTOM LINE IS HE SCREWED UP BIG TIME! RACISM IS NOT SOMETHING THAT GOES AWAY FROM A CALL TO JESSE AND AL, HE NEEDS TO EXAMINE HIMSELF AND DEAL WITH THAT...THEN WE NEED TO LET IT GO BECAUSE HE IS NOT THE FIRST RACIST IN AMERICA AND IS CERTAINLY NOT THE LAST.

2803 days ago
8.

jewish smewish,,    

u think hes apologizing to them cause hes REALLY sorry?

Richards is BANNED from the laugh factory in LA til the black leaders tell him and people
hes been forgiven so hes reaching out those niggers as he likes to call them so he can get back in the laugh factory.

i wonder y mexicans arent pissed off too cus according to the black guys Richards doesnt like Mexicans either!

2803 days ago
9.

Robert Taylor    

SUE IS ASS FOR WHAT?
What he didnt was wrong, but it is governed by the CONSTITUTION. He had a right to say what he said. Anyone trying to come forward and sue him cause they were "emotionally" damaged is only going to be laughed out of court.
Get REAL .

2803 days ago
10.

concerned    

#4 I also think he is just sorry he got caught on tape. I've read that he's done this before. He obviously wasn't sorry then, so why would he be now, except to try to save any career he has left. I don't think he's evil, just misguided and needs professional help.

2803 days ago
11.

Mike    

"4. He's only sorry that he got caught on video. This guy is evil to the core. I hope all the brothers in attendance sue his ass.

Posted at 1:50PM on Nov 22nd 2006 by Mohamad"

Well, if the "brothers" get to sue him, he should be able to sue them for calling him a F-ing cracker. Try watching def comedy jam or live at the apollo, those black comics make fun of white people all the time, but I guess thats ok huh?

2803 days ago
12.

Tiffany    

Yes, I agree that Jesse and Al does not represent the black community as a whole. Next stop, OPRAH!!!!! Damage Control Central for the comedian looking to make a comeback or a pathetic explanation.

I really believe that there is something wrong with Micheal Richards and he needs help. Even on Letterman, the man did not seem all there. At this point forgive, move on and pray for him to get help and work through these issues. There is always on situation in your life that forces you to evaluate or re-evaluate the things or people in it.

As a black woman I have learned that ignorance is bliss and as a person we all are learning everyday. He will learn from this day forward the consequences of actions that you take in life.

2803 days ago
13.

Happy Thanksgiving    

Richards stepped over a line and already apologized. He does not need to grovel. Also, the hecklers were not the innocents they claim to be. As Leesa said in post #2, Move on already!

2803 days ago
14.

Lisa    

First of all, as a minority female, I have less of a problem with the comments he made then with the ridiculousness of his apology. As for TMZ comments posted by Leesa...for your reference the fact that the term "cracker" was created and endeared by white people in connection with "cracking the whip on slaves", prior to it becoming a derrogatory term used by minorities, and that might be why you have a desensitivity to the word. I personally, could care less that he said what he said because words only have weight when given credence. The apology is, however, the saddest part of all of this...he can feel however he likes, about whomever he likes, but to rescind it, as though it was accidental, is cowardly and hypocritical. We all get caught up in "politically correct" oration, but forget, its not important whether you use the "N" word, but rather if you treat others in an oppressive manner. I'd rather be called it, then treated like it anyday! We aren't equal...we never were and never will be..but if you look at it in perspective...do you really consider someone who believes what Michael Richards does, your equal? If not, why give him the power of your attention?

2803 days ago
15.

just check this out    

2803 days ago
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