duke university jerry seinfeld palestine protests

Duke Students Walk Out of Jerry Seinfeld’s Commencement Speech

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Photo: Noam Galai/GC Images

Students at Duke University walked out on commencement speaker Jerry Seinfeld Sunday afternoon. Seinfeld, whose son currently attends Duke and whose daughter matriculated there, was delivering the commencement address as well as picking up an honorary degree. CNN estimates the number of graduating students who walked out to be around 30, while Reuters put the number in the dozens. Attendees in the bleachers also left. NBC News says a group of students with Palestinian flags could be seen in the aisle. Jerry Seinfeld has been vocal in his support of Israel since October 7, and his wife Jessica reportedly donated $5000 to a GoFundMe for pro-Israel counterprotests at UCLA.

From those who stayed, Seinfeld was met with both boos and encouraging chants of “Jerry! Jerry!” Seinfeld was able to finish his speech, which he said was a defense of privilege. “I say, use your privilege,” he said. “I grew up a Jewish boy from New York. That is a privilege if you want to be a comedian.”

“We understand the depth of feeling in our community, and as we have all year, we respect the right of everyone at Duke to express their views peacefully, without preventing graduates and their families from celebrating their achievement,” Duke spokesperson Frank Tramble said in a statement.

  • [CNN]
  • [NBC News]
  • [Daily Beast]
  • [Reuters]

Related

  • 18 Jokes That Would Get Jerry Seinfeld Canceled Today
  • Protesters March for Palestine at 2024 Oscars

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Bethy Squires , 2024-05-13 04:22:00

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