The movie Jerry Seinfeld will always regret: “I realised this is really not appropriate”
(Credit: Netflix)


The movie Jerry Seinfeld will always regret: "I realised this is really not appropriate"

He may be enjoying a renaissance of sorts on Netflix, first with his hit show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and then with his ode to the Pop-Tart’s creation Unfrosted, but there is one movie that comic giant Jerry Seinfeld will always regret.

Actor and comedian Jerry Seinfeld provided his Duke Commencement Address after being given an honorary degree from Duke University on May 12th, during which he expressed his regrets over certain aspects of the 2007 animated comedy film Bee Movie, which he co-wrote and provided voice acting for.

Notably, Seinfeld’s address was marred by a mass walkout of students over his support of Israel following the October 7th attack by Hamas and the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. Nevertheless, those who stayed heard him apologise for the sexual undertones of the aforementioned animated film. “I made a cartoon movie about bees you may have watched as a child,” Seinfeld said.

The comedian added, “If any of you felt slightly uncomfortable about the sexual undertones in the relationship between Barry the bee and Vanessa, the florist who saves his life, I would like to apologize for that now.”

Interestingly, though Seinfeld is willing to admit that he “may not have calibrated [Bee Movie] perfectly”, he wouldn’t change it. Seinfeld had been discussing the film while making a wider point about the importance of humour and comedy in moments when life gets harder.

“The slightly uncomfortable feeling of awkward humor is OK,” Seinfeld noted. “It’s not something you need to fix.” The actor and writer went on to offer his praise for the younger generations for trying to create a “more inclusive society” but suggested that they retain their sense of humour.

Back in 2021, Seinfeld also spoke of the sexual undertones of Bee Movie on The Tonight Show, noting, “It really was not intentional, but after it came out, I realised this is really not appropriate for children. Because the bee seems to have a thing for the girl, and we don’t really want to pursue that as an idea in children’s entertainment.”

In recent times, Seinfeld blamed the demise of television comedy on the “extreme left” and said that people are now going to see more standup comedians instead.

“This is the result of the extreme left and P.C. crap, and people worrying so much about offending other people,” Seinfeld had told The New Yorker. “Now they’re going to see standup comics because we are not policed by anyone.”

The comic went on to explain the difference between stand-up and television comedy and how the former is a more instant response. “The audience polices us,” he said. “We know when we’re off track. We know instantly and we adjust to it instantly. But when you write a script and it goes into four or five different hands, committees, groups.”