Last Monday, actor and comedian Jerry Seinfeld made headlines after blatantly dissing a red carpet hug from pop singer Kesha not once but three times. The cringe-worthy incident took place outside the David Lynch Foundation’s National Night of Laughter and Song at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the whole drama was caught on camera in a clip that quickly went viral.
As Yahoo News reports, 63-year-old Jerry Seinfeld attempted to explain away the awkward encounter (that reportedly left a red-faced Kesha utterly humiliated) encounter during a later interview with Extra. According to the iconic funnyman, he had no idea who Kesha was when she made a beeline toward him mid-interview. The pop singer is (as the whole world now knows) a Seinfeld superfan. From Jerry’s point of view, she came off as an unknown creeper.
Here’s what Seinfeld had to say about the hug denial heard ’round the world.
“I’m 63, I don’t know every pop star. I don’t know everyone. [Her approach was] a little off… When you get to be my age and you’ve done a couple things, you have your own reality, in my reality… I don’t hug a total stranger.”
Jerry Seinfeld made it clear that he didn’t dodge Kesha’s hug with an intent to embarrass the singer. Check out Seinfeld’s hug denial below.
Kesha approached Seinfeld with her arms outstretched and a question on her lips. The microphones pick up the moments that the singer asks the comedian if she can please have a hug – three times. All the while, Jerry Seinfeld is backing away slowly, creeped-out smile on his face, and responding with a somewhat terrified, “No thanks.”
Lush, the famed Australian graffiti artist, quickly latched onto the hug denial, apparently recognizing an iconic pop culture moment in its infancy. Famous for his celeb-based street art, and with a resume that includes tackling recent moments in pop culture history such Tiger Wood’s mug shot and the infamous image of Beyonce announcing her pregnancy with twins, Lush turned his talented to hand to memorializing the awkward moment that Kesha met (and was repeatedly denied) by Jerry Seinfeld.
The artist shared the painting of Seinfeld backing away, hands up, from an enthusiastic Kesha, as well as a speech bubble that reads, “No thanks.”
The look of terror on Seinfeld’s face is effortlessly captured on a background of painted brick as an apparently too-touchy Kesha can be seen laying her hand on his arm.
Jerry Seinfeld rejecting Kesha's hug is the greatest thing ive seen in 2017
— Art Vandelay. #NT (@KeonDeWinning) June 9, 2017
The Seinfeld – Kesha snub was state of the art.
— Gil Saint (@isgilthearter) June 8, 2017
He treated her like Newman #JerrySeinfeld ????????????????
— LaTonya Bloodsaw (@LaTonyaBloodsaw) June 6, 2017
What do you expect from Seinfeld? Warmth? Jerry is a legend with 0 to prove. U gotta a lotta juice but not enough to body Seinfeld #Facts
— Jordan Carlos (@jordancarlos) June 8, 2017
According to Jerry Seinfeld, he was actually flattered (if not somewhat off-put) when he realized that his superfan was none other than the world-famous Kesha. He didn’t apologize for dodging her hug, though, adding that as a TV star he has no idea who his fans are and that he can’t possibly recognize the faces of everyone who watches his show.
“…the TV only works one way… I can’t see who’s watching…”
As for Kesha, Seinfeld says that the red-faced crooner didn’t walk away from the evening totally empty handed. At least not metaphorically speaking. According to the Bee Movie star, he bumped into his famous blonde fan again when he got inside the event and away from prying cameras. Seinfeld says that the unlikely duo “laughed about” the awkward moment – but he still didn’t give her a hug when it was all said and done.
Thanks to all the fatherhood supporters who attended the Fatherhood Initiative lunch today for my amazing wife’s Good+ Foundation and to MR PORTER for putting it together. MR PORTER is launching a “White Shirts Campaign,” in which 100% of sales of white shirts sold from June 8th-18th will be donated to GOOD+ Foundation. @jessseinfeld @goodplusfdn @mrporterlive
There was one lucky lady who did end up getting a hug from Jerry Seinfeld, though: his wife, Jessica. Just days after the awkward Kesha incident, a photo of Jerry hugging Jessica was posted on his Instagram page, and it featured Jerry Seinfeld wearing an ironic smirk. Almost as if he was poking fun at Kesha and her red carpet faux pas.
[Featured Image by Jordan Strauss/Invision for Producers Guild of America/AP Images]