Home » Students walk out of Jerry Seinfeld’s Duke University graduation speech

Students walk out of Jerry Seinfeld’s Duke University graduation speech

●Jerry Seinfeld delivered the graduation speech at Duke University on Sunday
●A video on X showed students walking out during his speech waving Palestinian flags
●Seinfeld has spoken publicly in defense of Israel during its war in Gaza

A 25-second video shared to X showed students standing from their seats and walking out of Wallace Wade Stadium as Seinfeld, 70, took the stage. Some of them held Palestinian flags.

In the footage, some people are seen cheering for Seinfeld while others appear to boo. Some people also chanted “Free Palestine,” according to Reuters.

Seinfeld has been a vocal supporter of Israel amid the war in Gaza and was among more than 700 entertainment leaders who signed an open letter in support of Israel.

Duke University shared a video of Seinfeld’s commencement speech on YouTube, but the footage doesn’t show the exiting students. Seinfeld steered clear of heavy topics during the speech. He instead just poked fun at the students and offered life advice.

Seinfeld mentioned his heritage during the speech while defending privilege, saying, “I say, use your privilege. I grew up a Jewish boy from New York. That is a privilege if you want to be a comedian.”

Seinfeld graduated from Queen College, City University of New York, but received an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Duke University.

“We’re excited and delighted for the Class of 2024 and their families. 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,” Frank Tramble, vice president for marketing, communications and public affairs at the university, said in a statement.

Representatives for Seinfeld did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

The students’ walkout at Duke University is the latest example of the tension roiling American college campuses.

Police arrested over 300 people at Columbia University and the City College of New York this month during pro-Palestinian demonstrations. The university canceled this year’s main commencement ceremony following protests on campus.

Billionaire donors like Leon Cooperman have criticized student protesters and threatened to stop donating to the university.

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