On Wednesday, a video went viral of Jerry Seinfeld refusing to accept a hug from Kesha while he was being interviewed on the red carpet of a charity event. Kesha went up to Seinfeld and asked him for a hug, to which he said “no thanks.” She tried two separate times after that, continuing to encroach on his space, and Seinfeld stuck to his guns and said “no thanks” each time, backing away. Many of you mentioned in the comments that Seinfeld’s polite rejection was completely understandable, which was my opinion too, and that if Kesha was a true Seinfeld fan she would know that he’s not a hugger.
In a new interview with Extra TV, on the red carpet of another charity event, Seinfeld explained that he doesn’t hug strangers and that a hug isn’t the first thing humans do when they meet each other, essentially. He also said that he met Kesha backstage after that awkward exchange and that they laughed about it, but he didn’t hug her then either. When he knows someone well he will hug them though.
Jerry explained, “I’m 63, I don’t know every pop star… I don’t know everyone.” He is also not completely into hugs, saying, “I’m not, well as a total stranger.” But, Jerry gave AJ a hug, why? He said, “But I know you how many years? I’ve known you twenty years.”
Looking back on how it all went down, Seinfeld pointed out, “I was right in the middle of an interview, it was a little off.” He smiled, “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. I have to meet someone, say hello. I gotta start somewhere… hug isn’t first moment of a human, two humans. I never did that.”
“I got a borderline harassment case here!” Jerry laughed. He didn’t hug her, but added, “I’m sure I would’ve liked her, but I need to know who are you.”
When AJ commented that Kesha has seen him on TV, Jerry replied, “I’m so flattered by that, but the TV only works one way… I can’t see who’s watching.”
He noted that he and Kesha were able to laugh about the moment off-camera, revealing, “She was very nice about it, we laughed about it.” But did she get a hug after their exchange? Jerry responded, “No!”
I mentioned in Wednesday’s post that I wish I could do this. I wish I could back off and just offer a handshake instead of getting squeezed by someone I barely know. I’m not a germaphobe but it feels uncomfortable to me, particularly when it’s a man and the hug seems more than friendly. I like Seinfeld’s explanation and he’s very matter-of-fact about it. At no point was he rude or annoyed, and he had every right to be. Some people are huggers and some people aren’t and it’s best to gauge the situation before you go hugging someone.
Yesterday Kesha posted this cute video of her cats licking and hugging each other with the hashtags #hugsRgreat #ilikehugs which was a really great way to respond. (Have you seen the cat mom hugs kitten video? I love that one.) This is sweet, but these cats know and like each other! I had two cats (Bokii and Tess RIP) who were frenemies. They would regularly lick each other but that would inevitably end when one of them held the other down and kicked them in the face. Plus have you ever seen two adult cats who don’t know each other start off by hugging and kissing? NO. They approach each other hesitantly and there’s often hissing.
photos credit: Getty Images/Jamie McCarthy, WENN and Instagram/Kesha