Students Walk Out During Seinfeld Speech

The atmosphere at Duke University’s commencement ceremony this year was tense as dozens of students walked out in protest over the guest speaker, Jerry Seinfeld. The beloved comedian has been a vocal supporter of Israel, a stance that has sparked controversy in the current climate of antiwar protests on college campuses across America.

Since the Oct 7 atrocity by Hamas and the recent conflict in Gaza, Seinfeld has stood by Israel, even visiting the country to meet with hostage families. This stance has made him a target for criticism from liberal students who have accused him of being in support of war and oppression.

As Seinfeld received an honorary degree and began his speech, students carrying flags and chanting “Free, free Palestine” stormed out of the ceremony. Some remained and shouted “Jerry! Jerry!” as the actor continued his address without major interruptions.

Despite the walk-outs, Seinfeld avoided addressing the controversy and focused on the privilege theme. He pointed out that he himself is a product of privilege, coming from a Jewish family in New York and being able to pursue a career in comedy. He encouraged the students to use their education and privilege to make a positive impact in the world.

“Privilege is a word that has taken quite a beating lately. Privilege today seems to be the worst thing you can have. I would like to take a moment to defend it,” he said.

“Whatever you’re doing, I don’t care if it’s your job, your hobby, a relationship, getting a reservation at M Sushi, make an effort. Just pure, stupid, no-real-idea-what-I’m-doing-here effort. Effort always yields a positive value, even if the outcome of the effort is absolute failure of the desired result. This is a rule of life. Just swing the bat and pray is not a bad approach to a lot of things,” he continued.

“Every chance you get, fall in love with your coffee. Your sneakers. Your Blue Zone parking space. I’ve had a lot of fun in life falling in love with stupid, meaningless physical objects,” Seinfeld said.