The Offensive ‘Seinfeld’ Episode You Didn’t Realize Was Pulled Out of Syndication – saimmalik

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  • “The Puerto Rican Day” episode of Seinfeld precipitated outrage for burning and stomping on the Puerto Rican flag.
  • Protests had been held, letters had been written, and NBC pulled the episode from syndication in response to the backlash.
  • The controversy surrounding “The Puerto Rican Day” highlights the tremendous line between intelligent comedy and offensive content material in Seinfeld.

When Seinfeld is at its finest, it is the proper instance of a present that deftly touches on a wide selection of taboo topics, both by not likely straight referencing the topic (“I’m grasp of my area” skirting masturbation in “The Contest”) or, conversely, drastically exaggerating reactions (“Not that there is something unsuitable with that,” a cheeky politically appropriate response to homosexuality in “The Outing”). At its worst, Seinfeld might be offensive, outdated, and even hard to watch now. Exhibits that straddle the road between intelligent and crass can simply slip to 1 aspect or the opposite, so it is a credit score to the inventive forces behind the present that Seinfeld walks that line most of the time. Nonetheless, it does not imply the present is infallible by any stretch. There are numerous conditions over the course of the present that Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld), Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), George (Jason Alexander), and Kramer (Michael Richards) get themselves into that had been in unhealthy style the primary time round, not to mention now. However there’s one episode that stands out from the remainder, and the one episode that precipitated a lot uproar that it was pulled from syndication: Season 9’s “The Puerto Rican Day.”


The persevering with misadventures of neurotic New York Metropolis humorist Jerry Seinfeld and his equally neurotic New York Metropolis associates.

Launch Date
July 5, 1989

Predominant Style



Kramer Unintentionally Burns and Stomps on the Puerto Rican Flag in “The Puerto Rican Day”

“The Puerto Rican Day” was the second highest-rated episode of the series, simply behind the sequence finale that aired the next week. It follows Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer as they make their means house after leaving a Mets recreation early. Sadly, Fifth Avenue is blocked by the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade. Elaine will get out of the automotive and boards a taxi, which does not make any extra progress than the automotive she was in. She then makes an attempt to stroll beneath the viewing stands to her vacation spot, solely to search out herself caught beneath the stands with a number of others. George exits the automotive to see Blimp, a movie concerning the Hindenburg catastrophe, able to shout “That is gotta damage!” in the intervening time the Hindenburg goes down, a line that bought laughs the primary time he noticed the film. Not this time.

Kramer, who is always making schemes, wants to make use of a restroom, so he pretends to be a rich industrialist, H.E. Pennypacker, with the intention to achieve entry to an condominium that is on the market. The ultimate inning of the Mets recreation occurs to be on the TV within the condominium, so Kramer invitations “Kel Vamsen” (Jerry) and the notorious “Artwork Vandelay” (George) as much as watch. With nobody to observe the automotive, an angered mob (we’re getting there) surrounds the automotive and sticks it right into a stairwell. As soon as the whole lot has subsided, the group begins strolling house.

There’s nothing within the synopsis of the episode that may seemingly recommend that it might incite outrage. In truth, it is a return to type of types for the sequence, a stand-alone episode like “The Chinese Restaurant” or “The Puffy Shirt.” It is what’s lacking from the recap that incensed the general public. Upon leaving the condominium, Kramer unintentionally units a Puerto Rican flag on hearth with a sparkler, then proceeds to throw it on the bottom and stomp on it to place the fireplace out. The act sees an angered mob of parade-goers strategy Kramer, who escapes again into the condominium. As they watch the mob injury Jerry’s automotive, Kramer says, “It is like this on daily basis in Puerto Rico.”

‘Seinfeld’s “The Puerto Rican Day” Led to Outrage

George (Jason Alexander), Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld), Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), and Kramer (Michael Richards) in a car on Seinfeld
Imageg by way of NBC

That was sufficient to boost the ire of the Puerto Rican group. Protests had been held at NBC in New York, harshly worded letters had been written to NBC, and Latino radio stations had been inundated with irate callers. An outraged Manuel Mirabal, president of the Nationwide Puerto Rican Coalition, staged a information convention demanding an apology and a promise that the episode wouldn’t be aired in syndication. “I used to be involved that the Latinos depicted within the present had been very stereotypical, like in West Facet Story,” stated Mirabal, “Then Kramer began working round with the Puerto Rican flag… on the level at which the flag was burned, my blood began boiling.” Fellow Puerto Rican chief Fernando Ferrer issued an announcement condemning the scene: “The burning of the Puerto Rican flag as a sight gag was insulting to the thousands and thousands who maintain that flag pricey, as was the slur that males rioting and vandalizing a automotive is like this on daily basis in Puerto Rico.” NBC did apologize, releasing a statement to the impact that there was no intent to offend anybody, and bowed to public stress by pulling the episode from syndication.

“The Puerto Rican Day” Was Pulled From Syndication

Nonetheless, a response from an government with the Seinfeld manufacturing firm to Mirabal would recommend that NBC nonetheless did not get it, as they urged that the episode might have been written about any parade, just like the St. Patrick’s Day or Columbus Day parades. It is an odd assertion that both implies different teams would not get as upset, or Puerto Ricans must be grateful it was their parade that was chosen, whereas explicitly trying previous the flag burning. There is a hypocritical aspect to it as nicely. What if it wasn’t a Puerto Rican flag that was set on hearth, however fairly an American flag? The burning of an American flag was a trigger for conviction for years earlier than it was deemed protected beneath the First Modification in 1989 and once more in 1990, a mere 8 years previous to “The Puerto Rican Day.” A proposed modification that may defend the American flag got here as lately as 2006, a proposal that truly handed the Home however failed by a single vote within the Senate. If the desecration of an American flag is so reviled that it solely narrowly avoids being a trigger for convictions, then Puerto Ricans have simply as a lot proper to have that very same response when their flag is being burned on nationwide TV.

What’s ironic is how an episode like “The Puerto Rican Day” makes it to air, whereas there’s proof of two episodes that by no means bought made for worry of (you guessed it) controversy. One proposed episode would have had George observing, “, I’ve by no means seen a Black individual order a salad.” The opposite was an episode that may have been known as “The Wager” a few guess being made among the many associates on whether Elaine would buy a gun for cover, with one scene that noticed Elaine joke about capturing herself within the head, referring to it as “The Kennedy.” The inventive crew, correctly, noticed the excessive likelihood of opposed reactions from the Black group, each side of gun advocacy, and people who discover little humor in presidential assassinations (though the Magic Loogie reenactment from “The Boyfriend” did far earlier), so how they did not decide up on potential reactions to “The Puerto Rican Day” — particularly when the title alone was sufficient for Mirabal to marketing campaign in opposition to it months earlier than it was aired — is a thriller. However, you do have the choice to make up your personal thoughts concerning the episode: NBC positioned it again into syndication in 2002.

Seinfeld is obtainable to stream on Netflix within the U.S.


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