A somber Tracy Morgan appeared at a brief press conference in Nashville today, which was organized by GLAAD. It took place shortly after the actor met with local gay activists, including Kevin Rogers, whose Facebook account of Morgan’s Nashville standup act featuring anti-gay jokes created a media firestorm 10 days ago. Here is an excerpt from Morgan’s statement: “I want to apologize to my friends, and my family and my fans and everyone in every community who were offended with this. I didn’t mean it. … I don’t have a hateful bone in my body. I don’t believe that anyone should be bullied or just made to feel bad about who they are. I totally feel that, in my heart, I really don’t care who you love, same-sex or not, as long as you have the ability to love. … To err is human, to forgive is divine. … Thank you everybody for forgiving me.” Here’s the video:
Tracy Morgan Comes Under Fire For Anti-Gay Rant
NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt, the first openly gay topper of a broadcast network, and 30 Rock creator/executive producer/star Tina Fey just issued statements in response to homophobic remarks by 30 Rock co-star Tracy Morgan at his stand-up show in Nashville last Saturday. The rant, in which Morgan said, among other things that “if his son told him that was gay he … would pull out a knife and stab that little n***** to death,” has created a media firestorm, with gay-rights groups demanding an apology. Morgan issued one earlier today. Greenblatt’s statement indicates that reps for the network have spoken with the actor and “we made it clear to him that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated”, so Morgan will continue on 30 Rock:
Bob Greenblatt, Chairman NBC Entertainment:
I speak for NBC and myself personally when I say we do not condone hate or violence of any kind and I am pleased to see Tracy Morgan apologizing for recent homophobic remarks in his standup appearance. We will always recognize an artist’s freedom to express him or herself, but not when reckless things are said no matter what the context. Unfortunately, Tracy’s comments reflect negatively on both 30 Rock and NBC — two very all-inclusive and diverse organizations -– and we have made it clear to him that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.
Tina Fey, Executive Producer, 30 Rock
I’m glad to hear that Tracy apologized for his comments. Stand-up comics may have the right to “work out” their material in its ugliest and rawest form in front of an audience, but the violent imagery of Tracy’s rant was disturbing to me at a time when homophobic hate crimes continue to be a life-threatening issue for the GLBT Community.