Some things just need to be said, and few know this better than comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
In a recent interview with Jenna Bush Hager, Seinfeld spoke up about the importance of speaking up in an era of rising antisemitism.
“We’re so quick to inflame,” Seinfeld, 68, told Jenna. “Both sides of any debate. Women, gender — everything, right? This is the culture we live in, flash paper. Instant violent verbiage, right?”
In April, the Anti-Defamation League reported antisemitism across the country reached an all-time high in 2021.
Still, at a time when speaking up for beliefs can be unnerving, the comedian said it’s important to voice our concerns.
Jenna noted how the comedian’s wife, cookbook author and philanthropist Jessica Seinfeld, recently shared a simple way of supporting marginalized groups.
Last month, Jessica Seinfeld voiced her support for the Jewish community on Instagram after a banner with the message “Kanye (West) is right about the Jews” was hung over a Los Angeles freeway. The rapper had made a string of antisemitic comments in the weeks before and was kicked off Twitter.
“I support my Jewish friends and the Jewish people,” Jessica Seinfeld’s post said. In the caption, she wrote, “If you don’t know what to say, you can just say this in your feed.”
“She found a simple, and I thought, nonaggressive way to say something that, that, unfortunately, needs to be said, but does need to be said,” Seinfeld told Jenna during their interview. “And I thought that was very special and fantastic thing she did.”
The comedian and TV icon also supported his wife’s post on Instagram at the time, writing, “This is no time to be silent about antisemitism.”
“So proud of my wife for finding a perfect way for people to say what, unfortunately must be said,” the “Bee Movie” star wrote on Oct. 24.
In a Nov. 16 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Seinfeld touched on the use of comedy as a tool to address antisemitism and recent criticism aimed at fellow comedian Dave Chappelle.
Earlier this month, Chappelle drew criticism for his comments during his “Saturday Night Live” opening monologue, in which he addressed the antisemitic rhetoric perpetuated by West. Chappelle called West’s words “not a crazy thing to think. But it’s a crazy thing to say out loud in a climate like this.”
In response, Seinfeld told the publication that he thought the comedy was “well-executed” but noted that “the subject matter calls for a conversation.”
Seinfeld’s new book, “The Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee Book” celebrates the 10th anniversary of his talk show, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” and takes readers behind the scenes of the most memorable episodes. The book is due out on Nov. 22.
This article was originally published on TODAY.com