NEW YORK – A controversial 1998 Seinfeld episode about the Puerto Rican Day Parade, missing on the airwaves here for nearly five years, has quietly been put back into circulation.
The episode so incensed New Yorkers, especially Hispanics, that it was yanked from syndication in the New York market by Columbia TriStar, which syndicates the series.
Columbia TriStar, figuring that enough time had passed, decided to re-air the episode last Aug. 3. When no one complained, the decision was made to put it back into a regular rotation.
The episode aired again this past Monday night.
In the episode, which originally aired in May '98 on NBC, Jerry and his pals got stuck in a traffic jam caused by the midtown Puerto Rican Day parade.
That, in turn, led to a series of misadventures including Kramer (Michael Richards) manhandling and then accidentally torching a Puerto Rican flag.
In another scene, Jerry's car is attacked by parade-goers -- and Kramer remarks that men rioting and vandalizing a car is "like every day in Puerto Rico."
Many viewers and politicians were outraged by the episode, and both Seinfeld and NBC later apologized -- although the episode pulled a whopping 39 million viewers.
Seinfeld ended its storied run the following week with a one-hour finale.