Mason: Telling it like it is…
: Legendary 84-year-old comedian Jackie Mason is weighing in on a controversy about political correctness that much-younger comedian Jerry Seinfeld ignited
a couple of weeks earlier when he said he won’t play colleges because “they’re so PC.”
Fittingly, Mason’s commentary strays far from politically correct norms, especially regarding race and sexual preferences.
“If I’m a busboy in Philadelphia, then I have to be careful about what I say. But if I’m a public tycoon like Jerry Seinfeld, and I got a billion dollars in my pocket, he’s got to be nuts to wonder or worry about what people are going to think,” Mason says in a taped interview with radio host Aaron Klein that will air on Sunday.
“Before, you couldn’t pick on homosexuals because it was bad taste, because homosexuals were a persecuted minority. Now, it’s exactly the opposite,” says Mason in audio obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. “Homosexuals can attack you and abuse you. And people who are in favor of same-sex marriage could abuse you, but you can’t say a word against same-sex marriage.”
He says that gay couples are a “sensation” while heterosexual couples are suspect, and heads of companies who oppose same-sex marriage “are out of business.”
Joking about skin color is also problematic nowadays, Mason says.
“It used to be you couldn’t say the N-word,” he says. “Then the word ‘black’ went out of business because you had to say ‘Negro.’ Then ‘Negro’ went out of business, you had to say ‘African American.’ Now, everyday, you have to buy a paper to find out what a black person is called today … A black person can call you anything he wants. Free speech today is only for black people.”
Later, he amends his assessment: “There is only free speech now in this country for black people and homosexuals and any other minority … But if you are a white Protestant American gentile, you can’t say a word.”
Seinfeld set off a debate in Hollywood — in particular among comedians — when he said during an ESPN interview that college kids were too quick to brand comedians “sexists” and “racists” if they were to tell jokes perceived as insensitive. Colleagues like Dave Chappelle and Bill Maher have agreed with Seinfeld while others, notably Whoopi Goldberg, have been less supportive.