Photo Credit: Bill McCay/WireImage
Tracy Morgan's mouth frequently gets him into trouble -- and now he's hoping it can get him out. The 30 Rock star drew the ire of the media, the gay and lesbian community, and pretty much everyone else when he unleashed a vicious anti-gay tirade during a stand-up comedy act at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., last Friday -- reportedly going so far as to say that if his son were gay he'd "pull out a knife and stab that little n**ger to death." Whoa! Now, however, Morgan has come forward to say he's sorry.
"I want to apologize to my fans and the gay & lesbian community for my choice of words at my recent stand-up act in Nashville," Morgan said in a statement. "I'm not a hateful person and don't condone any kind of violence against others," Morgan said in a statement. "While I am an equal opportunity jokester, and my friends know what is in my heart, even in a comedy club this clearly went too far and was not funny in any context."
Reports of the tirade began to circulate when Kevin Rogers -- a gay man in attendance at last Friday's Ryman show -- took to his Facebook page to condemn the comic in a post titled "WHY I NO LONGER 'LIKE' TRACY MORGAN." According to Rogers, Morgan went off on homosexuals in a big way, saying, "Gays need to quit being p**sies and not be whining about something as insignificant as bullying."
Bullying of LGBT teens has obviously been in the news all year, due to the spate of teen suicides resulting from vicious bullying (something that clearly can't be called "insignificant"). Columnist Dan Savage started the It Gets Better project as a response to the bullying, and as a way to get the message out to troubled teens that "it gets better." Personal videos poured in, and are still pouring in, and the issue of bullying (not just of LGBT teens, but of all teens) took center stage. Tracey Morgan obviously has a big problem with that.
This is not the first time Morgan has been accused of homophobia. In comedy shows in the past, he has referred to being gay as a "choice," and he reiterated that thought in Nashville. According to Rogers' Facebook post, Morgan said that "(Lady Gaga's) 'Born this Way' is bulls**t, gay is a choice, and the reason he knows this is exactly because 'God don't make no mistakes' (referring to God not making someone gay cause that would be a mistake)."
Following the show, a spokesperson for the Ryman Auditorium released a statement saying, "The Ryman Auditorium regrets that people were offended by statements made by Tracy Morgan during his June 3 appearance. The Ryman does not control the content presented by people appearing on its stage, nor does it endorse any of the views of, or statements made by, such persons."
Morgan himself seemed to anticipate that his words would have repercussions, so he went ahead and lashed out at his critics during the show. "I don't "f***ing care if I piss off some gays, because if they can take a f***ing d**k up their ass... they can take a f***ing joke," he said. The nuanced fact that some gays are actually women appears to be lost on Mr. Morgan.
In light of the reports, GLAAD released a statement today asking Morgan's reps to "investigate these allegations and should they prove true, we call on him to remove these violently anti-gay remarks from his show and send a strong message that anti-gay violence is not something to joke about." A couple of hours later and -- voila! -- Morgan said he was sorry. Let's just hope he truly means it.