Students Storm Out Of Jerry Seinfeld's Commencement Speech At Duke

Graduates carrying Palestinian flags left the stadium as the comic was being introduced. Duke University’s commencement saw a minor disruption when students protesting the war in Gaza walked out before Jerry Seinfeld spoke.

Video from Sunday’s event in Durham, North Carolina, showed about 30 students in cap and gown get up and leave their graduation ceremony as Seinfeld was introduced by Duke President Vincent Price.

Chants of “Free, free Palestine” could be heard as students carried the state’s green, red and black flag out of the football stadium.

In footage shared on social media, the audience could be heard booing, though it was unclear if the shouts were directed at Seinfeld or the protestors, which appeared to be a sliver of the 7,000 graduates in attendance.

Also audible were chants and jeers of “Jerry,” a reaction which sounded split between support and mockery of the sitcom star.

Seinfeld, who also received an honorary doctorate degree from the school on Sunday, has been a staunch supporter of Israel amid its response to the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas.

He’s posted on social media in solidarity with Israel several times since last fall’s incursion, and in December, the “Bee Movie” voice traveled to Tel Aviv to meet with the families of hostages captured by Hamas.

PaddleMaster,

Why would he even be a commencement speaker?

Melkath,

Because he is rich and loudly Zionist. Duh.

HubertManne,
HubertManne avatar

they use entertainers all the time for that crap. Its why folks who don't have family coming skip the bs to begin with.

Taako_Tuesday,

This is a serious topic and I’m happy that students are calling attention to the war in any way they can. It’s also very funny to see Seinfeld described as the voice of Bee Movie

livus,
livus avatar

I guess that's how gen Z think of him!

gravitas_deficiency,

Lmao I had the same thought. Like… what…? That’s the cultural touchstone he’s associated with nowadays…?

antidote101,

A lot of elite universities seem to host huge right wing douche bags. Oxford has hosted Ben Shapiro, Cambridge Jordan Peterson.

I’d be embarassed for those schools but I have utterly no connection to them, and I’m pretty sure they’re no longer places of intelligence or culture.

Son_of_dad,

Seriously though, from what I’ve read Jerry hates Trump and Republicans. Why is he right wing now? Cause he disagrees with your one issue??

livus,
livus avatar

It's not a binary tho, it's more like a continuum, and it's all relative.

Seinfeld has been sounding off about kids these days being too "woke" and destroying comedy, which puts him pretty solidly to the right of most people here.

eyy,

puts him pretty solidly to the right of most people here.

i feel like lemmy is pretty left of reddit, which in itself is pretty left-leaning… so saying “right of most people here” is a really low bar

livus,
livus avatar

Well, I'm from New Zealand. The majority of US Democrats are somewhat to the right of our main right-wing party, since it supports universal healthcare (most of the right wing also supports gun control legal prostitution and marriage equality).

Reddit is left wing by American standards but not nearly as much by my standards. Lemmy is more normal to me (apart from hexbear).

It's an Overton Window thing.

reddwarf,
@reddwarf@feddit.nl avatar

reddit, which in itself is pretty left-leaning.

Thanks, I needed a good chuckle this morning and this absolute nonsense hit the right spot!

eyy,

the fact that you think this is laughable points to how left you are compared to the average user.

Here’s some data on reddit vs the US average. Admittedly from some time back but it hasn’t changed much. statista.com/…/reddit-user-distribution-usa-polit…

livus,
livus avatar

@eyy sorry, have deleted comment,
had your reply in my inbox and forgot I was OP!

HubertManne,
HubertManne avatar

im not even sure its true. Its so funny to find out how right I am here. Curiously its not new for me. I went to a catholic university for two years before going a state school. I seemed incredibly left/USliberal/progressive at the catholic institution which was run by benedictions so its about as left as your going to get for a religions institution. Then at the state school I seemed maybe a bit left of center or downright center which is no surprise as it tends to be as left as you get.

AmidFuror,

He's not wrong. It's OK to laugh at caricatures and stereotypes.

livus,
livus avatar

Could you be more specific?

I think if he wants us to laugh he needs to come up with something funny.

There's no shortage of funny comedy out there including caricatures etc.

willya,
@willya@lemmyf.uk avatar

I’d be curious as to what you find funny.

livus,
livus avatar

Hundreds of things. Why, are you wondering about anything in particular?

willya,
@willya@lemmyf.uk avatar

With your opinions I’d find it interesting as to what makes you belly laugh. Like if it’s more on a witty punch line level or Bert Kreischer fart joke level. Or if you need the budge to laugh like on a Big Bang Theory level.

livus,
livus avatar

I have a weakness for farce but I like a fairly wide range of stuff, e.g. Stewart Lee, Key and Peele, Wellington Paranormal, Search Party, Toast of London, Afterparty, Tuca and Bertie, Silicon Valley, Minx, Creamerie, What We Do In The Shadows, Everyone Else Burns, Tucker and Dale Vs Evil, Bottoms, Detectorists, AP Bio.

I will belly laugh at, say, an Oscar Wilde play or a 1940s screwball comedy but also stuff like Aqua Teen Hunger Force and It's Always Sunny.

I think Seinfield is raging against being out of the zeitgeist. But very few comedians get to ride that wave forever.

AlternatePersonMan,

I dunno, but the dude dated a 17 year old highschool girl when he was 38. That’s gross enough that any school should stay away from him.

livus,
livus avatar

@antidote101 weird... any theory about why?

antidote101, (edited )

I think elite schools are just first in line in terms of being political betrayers of the actual substantive left. The interests of those schools and the families that tend to be able to afford to send their children there just tend to be aligned with the interests of capital as a whole.

I forget whether it was the Koch brothers or other fracking billionaires who provided the seed money for Ben Shapiro to set up The Daily wire, but no doubt those sorts of people are financially tied to him being their mouthpiece.

Money talks, and this is all a substantial element of why we live in a two party system, even though the majority always seems like left leaning liberals… Because the free market right have a greater level of class interests with the wealthy, and so can afford greater platforms in culture and in researching how to manipulate the political theatre of opinion.

EDIT: Yeah, it was the Wilks brothers (fracking billionaires) who funded the set up of The Daily Wire. They also donate millions to PragerU. I think one of the Wilks brothers has his own church now too.

livus,
livus avatar

Thanks for that well-thought out comment. I think you're right, and sites of knowledge/idea production are probably always targets of that kind of injection of right wing interests to some extent.

antidote101,

Yeah, I think so. Traditionally universities have swung left, as intellectuals and well researched people tend to swing that way, but within the last couple of decades (as more public institutions have become more privatised and more reliant on private interests) the rightwing figures have had greater success and gaining influence in these institutions

Here’s a 2019 episode from a podcast (the Know Your Enemy podcast) which details some of Charles Koch’s techniques and success in this area:

dissentmagazine.org/…/know-your-enemy-8-kochd-out…

livus,
livus avatar

Thanks! Those sources look interesting.

I guess this has probably paralleled the neoliberal makeover of university labour and the increased use of a casualized/precariat academic workforce we've seen in english-speaking academia in the last 20 years as well.

Edit: I hadn't really thought much about the connection but I can see how a more neoliberal labour force is attractive to private interests. And we saw the very real way the latter can shape knowledge production when Gates held Oxford's feet to the fire over their COVID vaccination IP.

Dippy,

That speech is worth walking out of even before the protest aspect

Midnitte,

Good, fuck Seinfeld.

I’m sure he’s happy to be “canceled”.

Thcdenton,

wHat’s WiTh aLL tHESe pRotEstoRS?

HubertManne,
HubertManne avatar

their not pro. their not testeors.

BassTurd,

Jerry is nothing more than Larry David’s creation and a cunty boot licker. His stand-up has always sucked. I have no idea what people ever have liked about him specifically.

Mammothmothman,

Laugh track hack

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cmbabul,

I know this is a serious issue and Jerry can get fucked, but the dean of Duke is named Vincent Price and that gave me a short silly movie in my head

livus,
livus avatar

Has to be Dr Phibes era Price.

samus12345,
@samus12345@lemmy.world avatar
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