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Seinfeld star Julia Louis-Dreyfus disagrees with co-star’s take on political correctness

Julia Louis-Dreyfus says being aware of sensitivities is a good thing.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus says being aware of sensitivities is a good thing. Photo: Getty

Unlike her Seinfeld co-star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus doesn’t think political correctness is ruining comedy.

Earlier this year, Jerry Seinfeld took aim at “political correctness” and how it was affecting comedy as a whole, for worse.

Louis-Dreyfus had a different take. Speaking to the New York Times, she said being aware of sensitivities was not a bad thing.

“It doesn’t mean that all comedy goes out the window as a result,” she said.

“When I hear people starting to complain about political correctness – and I understand why people might push back on it – but to me that’s a red flag, because it sometimes means something else.

“I believe being aware of certain sensitivities is not a bad thing. I don’t know how else to say it.”

Seinfeld spoke about political correctness and its impact on comedy in the lead up to the release of his new movie, Unfrosted.

He said he didn’t think Seinfeld could be made today because audiences now “police” comedians.

“[In decades past, people] just expected there’ll be some funny stuff we can watch on TV tonight,” Seinfeld said in an interview with The New Yorker.

“Well, guess what? Where is it? This is the result of the extreme left and PC crap, and people worrying so much about offending other people.”

Michael Richards, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Yair Landau and Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t think the hit sitcom could be made in this day and age. Photo: Getty

Is comedy better or worse now?

The New York Times spoke with Louis-Dreyfus a few days after her initial interview when she again reiterated political correctness wasn’t a bad thing.

She said it essentially “equates to tolerance, [which] is obviously fantastic”, however, she does “reserve the right” to boo someone if they offend her, while “respecting their right to free speech”.

To her, the threat to art and its creation isn’t political correctness, but the consolidation of money and power.

“All this siloing of studios and outlets and streamers and distributors, I don’t think it’s good for the creative voice. So that’s what I want to say in terms of the threat to art,” she said.

As for whether being aware of sensitivities is better for comedy or not, she said she cannot be the one to judge.

“I can’t judge if it’s better or not. I just know that the lens through which we create art today – and I’m not going to just specify it to comedy, it’s also drama – it’s a different lens,” she said.

“It really is. Even classically wonderful, indisputably great films from the past are riddled with attitudes that today would not be acceptable. So I think it’s just good to be vigilant.”

In the initial aftermath of Seinfeld’s comments, people pointed out that plenty of highly regarded comedic shows have come out since Seinfeld, including Veep, which starred Louis-Dreyfus.

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