You know how sometimes you watch an interaction between two or more people, and it’s so uncomfortable that even being on the outside looking in makes you feel like cringing for the rest of your life? That’s the best way to describe this video of Jerry Seinfeld and Kesha. The other night, Jerry and Kesha found themselves on the red carpet for the first annual National Night of Laughter and Song, and things got, um… awkward AF. While Jerry talking to a reporter, Kesha tried to hug him – a hug he denied not once, not twice, but three times. Watch it if you love to feel secondhand embarrassment:
— Tommy McFLY (@TommyMcFLY) June 6, 2017
Just to review, here’s what went down: Jerry was in the middle of doing an on-camera interview with a reporter when Kesha ran up to him, declared herself a huge fan, and then tried to hug him. When he declined the hug, she tried again. He declined again, and yet she tried… again. And that’s when he backed away. After she ran off, he shrugged and said, “I don’t know who that was.”
After seeing it go down, it’s easy to feel sorry for Kesha. Not only was she denied a hug from someone she looks up to, she was denied on camera, and now the entire Internet is talking about it. Ouch. It’s easy to declare Jerry Seinfeld an insensitive jerk, and to be on Kesha’s side. A lot of people are doing that, and I get it… sort of. But honestly? I don’t think Jerry is a jerk for what he did! In fact, I don’t blame him at all.
There is a very good possibility that Jerry actually does not know who Kesha is. He’s a 50-something-year-old man with a family who doesn’t play into the high-profile celebrity lifestyle that so many young stars do. Jerry is also very, very famous, and he’s probably used to random strangers walking up to him and demanding some of his time and attention, barging into his personal space without any regard for what he’s doing. That, I am sure, gets old fast, and it’s understandable that he wouldn’t want to entertain it – especially as he’s in the middle of speaking about something, and he just got interrupted.
Nothing is more infuriating than Jerry Seinfeld denying Kesha a hug. pic.twitter.com/4doesjfqB2
— Alex Goldschmidt (@alexandergold) June 6, 2017
Look, I don’t want to make this a whole huge thing, because it really isn’t that big of a deal. But I can totally understand why he wouldn’t want to give a random person a hug! I don’t particularly like to hug people I don’t know, because I like my personal space, and I don’t like when people come into it with no warning. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to that feeling. I don’t think that Jerry, or any other celebrity, should be obligated to hug someone just because that person is a fan. Being famous doesn’t mean people can do whatever they want to you.
I don’t think Kesha meant anything bad by what she did, and honestly, I just want the girl to be happy. But I hate seeing people online acting like Jerry did something wrong. I don’t even care about Jerry Seinfeld that much, if we’re being honest! I’m not trying to defend his honor. I just think a person has a right to deny a hug, whether it’s from a celebrity or a “regular” person.
I fully support Jerry Seinfeld's right to not participate in hug culture.
— Dean AmJose (@Darth_Brevity) June 6, 2017
Not to get all weird about this, but it does bring up that larger issue about respect for someone’s boundaries, which is something a lot of people need to learn. In 2017, it’s getting more and more difficult for anyone, famous or not, to get any sort of privacy. Social media allows us all to be open books, and that has become so common that we get turned off when someone prefers to be more private and reserved. As someone who values their privacy, I’m not into this way of thinking.
On top of that, I think this is quite hypocritical. If the genders were reversed, and a man tried to give Kesha a hug three times, and she denied it all three times, most of the Internet would attack said man as “creepy” and “rude,” and praise Kesha for doing the right thing. So why are we doing the opposite right now? We are always encouraging women to stand up for their personal space and boundaries. Men have that right too.
Y'all need to leave Jerry Seinfeld alone. A stranger asked him for a hug, he politely said "no thank you" and went back to his interview.
— Sir James The Second (@JKH2) June 6, 2017
So, the moral of the story is this: don’t assume that everyone wants to have their personal space invaded. If you’re a big hugger, that’s great! But not everyone is, so ask before you touch them, and if they say “no,” then back off. It’s… not that difficult of a concept.
What do you think about this situation? Do you agree with me or do you think Jerry should have hugged her? Tell us in the comments.