Tracy Morgan does Nashville GLAAD event: “I don’t have a hateful bone in my body”

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We knew it was going to happen, and here it is. Tracy Morgan’s “I love the gays, seriously” tour has commenced. Several weeks ago, while performing a stand-up act in Nashville, Tracy went on an obscene and offensive anti-gay rant. There was no video of the event, but a gay activist named Kevin Rogers was in the audience, and he wrote a scathing Facebook post about Tracy’s gig. The post went viral, and within 24 hours, Tina Fey and NBC had to issue statements about Tracy, and there was a lot of fallout from the gay community. Tracy later apologized, over and over to several outlets, and quickly made plans for what I like to think of as his Big Gay Tour. Today, Tracy was back in Nashville (Homophbia Ground Zero for Tracy, it seems), where he did a press conference/event with GLAAD, and this Kevin Rogers guy. Here’s some video and some coverage:

Tracy Morgan returned to the scene of the crime Tuesday. The 30 Rock star traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to personally apology to audience members and gay advocacy groups who were deeply offended by his vile anti-gay rant during his stand-up show there earlier this month.

After meeting with members of the gay community — including with audience member Kevin Rogers whose Facebook entry about Morgan’s act first cast a spotlight on the comedian’s comments — a contrite Morgan faced reporters at the Nashville Convention Center. (Rogers sat next to Morgan).

Morgan began by saying: “First thing I want to say is I apologize to Kevin and to people who were at the show for bumming them out. I want to apologize to my friends, and my family and my fans…. I didn’t know, 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 really don’t care who you love, same sex or not, as long as you have the ability to love.”

During his June 3 show at Ryman Auditorium, Morgan said that homosexuality was a choice and that if own his son were gay, he would “pull out a knife and stab” him.

Speaking in Nashville on Tuesday, Morgan said he has the opportunity to change his message on stage and to make a difference.

“I don’t see gay or straight, I just see human beings,” he said. “From the bottom of my heart, I apologize.”

After the initial backlash for his remarks, Morgan was criticized not only by gay advocacy groups, but by NBC and 30 Rock creator Tina Fey. Since then, he has made several efforts to express his regret and has met with gay youth in New York City.

He has also agreed to record a PSA for GLAAD’s upcoming Amplify Your Voice campaign.

[From Radar]

I said it before, in the previous post about Tracy’s “I love the gays” tour, and I’ll say it again: he’s handling this situation surprisingly well. He’s not playing the victim, he’s not trying to blame anyone or anything else. He’s taking responsibility and apologizing straight out, and asking for our forgiveness. He’s also putting some time and effort into his series of apologies, and I think he’s honestly trying to make it right. I’m not saying I’m back to loving Tracy’s usually delightful insanity, I’m just saying that I’m willing to hear him out and I like that he’s doing this apology tour in the right way.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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28 Responses to “Tracy Morgan does Nashville GLAAD event: “I don’t have a hateful bone in my body””

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  1. LOVE ANGELINA says:

    I have seen Tracy perform live and seen his specials on HBO, I have never gotten a vibe he hates anyone. I like him and I think he is handling this well too. He just gets really overzealous with his jokes and he took it too far but he realized his mistakes.

  2. Rita says:

    Yeah, he’s doing a pretty good job. His routine more than crossed the line but one always has to be careful with comedy at someone else’s expense.

    By the way, for sandwich and trash bags, as well as cling wrap, I always use the Glaad brand.

  3. Bitchbelying says:

    Um..he has to do this. He has no other choice if he wants to work in hollywood again.

  4. original kate says:

    he’s full of crap and only trying to save his career. a grown man who “jokes” that he would stab his son to death for being gay is a homophobe and a bully. really-that’s supposed to be humor? it’s 2011 and we still have right-wing politicians making watermelon jokes about the obamas…aren’t we smarter than this?

  5. yepp says:

    @original kate, you are so right… I could not agree more!

  6. mln76 says:

    I think he actually can make alot of inroads in the African American community that tends to be homophobic if he handles this well. So I am keeping my fingers crossed he can do right and make a good thing out of the bad he’s done.

  7. Thea says:

    Ok. He apologized but now he is wearing it out.

  8. CallieTrichid says:

    “He apologized and now he’s wearing it out.”

    Well, good thing his actions aren’t intended for you, then. He’s trying to make it up to the LGBT community–and good on him for his word in trying to do so.

  9. Obvious says:

    i appreciate the apologies, but i can’t get over the fact it was said at all. i know people will say things they don’t mean in the heat of anger, and while i don’t like it it’s far easier to understand. his comments were made as part of a stand up routine. i can’t find an excuse anywhere to make it even somewhat ok.

  10. The Bobster says:

    No, all his bones are hateful. ;-)

  11. Sloane Wyatt says:

    Oh Tracy, if you were Dog the Bounty Hunter you’d be out a season. If you were Michael Richards, you couldn’t book another stand up gig – ever. Heck, if you were Imus (a radio comedian) or Isiah Washington, you’d never get work again.

    I buy he was trying to be funny, and MAYBE he’s not a hater, I dunno. Whatever, his mouth was ugly and hurtful – I vote he loses his show and go hang out with the disgraced AFLAC duck guy!

  12. Iggles says:

    Ugh. Can’t stand this man! And that was before his hateful rant!

  13. the original bellaluna says:

    I’m not really sure I buy the whole “not a hateful bone in my body” bit. That kind of diatribe had to stem from somewhere, and “thin air” is not my first choice.

    I’ve done some funny skits, and I draw from experience; my emotions; my feelings. Maybe he’s different, but I doubt it.

  14. ol cranky says:

    I’ve never been much of a Tracy Morgan fan and am glad he’s apologizing without pulling an “it was taken out of context” routine. That being said, I just don’t see how his diatribe could be construed as a joke that went poorly. It didn’t sound like a joke or a setup for a joke, not even in the context of a comedy routine.

  15. Isabel says:

    I, personally, do not want to believe that people cannot be forgiven. I think that he made an incredibly stupid move when he went on that hateful rant. I also think he was trying to play to his audience, in a pretty horrible way. What he said was sick…but a man that truly feels that violently would not be able to turn around with such an intense mea culpa. What he did was ignorant and hurtful. And now he’s trying to repent. Let him give it his best shot. There is NOTHING BAD that can come from a man trying to preach tolerance and love, even if it’s in the wake of saying something hateful. Only good can come of it.

  16. Rachael says:

    @mln76: “I think he actually can make alot of inroads in the African American community that tends to be homophobic if he handles this well.”

    Agreed, I hope so. Here’s my take on the situation: He meant what he said when he said it. Even if he was exaggerating for the purpose of comedy, he still meant it at a basic level. BUT if someone is willing to realize their point of view was wrong and take steps to learn more and change accordingly, then I think that’s a great thing. It seems to me that he genuinely is realizing that his point of view was just flat out wrong. As human beings, it is natural for this to happen as we live life, learn new things and grow as people. I hope that’s the case for Tracy rather than the cynical alternative that he’s just doing it to save his career.

  17. Alice says:

    I don’t care how much he apologizes. I still think he’s a dick for saying that shit in the first place. If he didn’t have a hateful bone in his body, he wouldn’t have said it in the first place. He would’ve known from the start that he was going too far.

  18. KJ says:

    @Rachael – I tend to see things the way you do. I don’t doubt that Tracy, like a lot of heterosexual men, is freaked out by homosexuality. I don’t doubt that he has his own problems with it. But what I DO doubt is that he went on this rant with the intent to harm people. I don’t even think it occurred to him. For a lot of straight guys, especially ones I know, who aren’t necessarily “cool” with gays, they would never harm anyone for being gay, but they certainly are not able to wrap their minds around the concept or be able to sympathize with someone who is born a way that society (and they themselves) deems “unacceptable.” That’s kind of the problem with a lot of intolerance. Specifically in response to @Alice – a lot of straight guys don’t realize why saying “faggot” or saying you’d beat that guy at the bar up for looking at you funny is an extremely dangerous thought process.

    This apology tour, while ONLY because of the uproar, actually does seem to come from a place of “oh shit, I really messed up.” I don’t think Tracy knew what he said would cause such a ruckus, and I don’t think he really understood why saying those things aren’t tactful or something to laugh about. Now, it seems like he does. Like he got a clue, and he feels bad about not getting it before. Whether or not he’ll ever be the straight guy who really has NO problem with his son being gay, I think he did learn a pretty valuable lesson, and not necessarily one in PR or damage control. This isn’t a Chris Brown situation. I honestly think he’s contrite, even if he’s still understanding what it is he should be sorry for.

  19. original kate says:

    “I hope that’s the case for Tracy rather than the cynical alternative that he’s just doing it to save his career.”

    @ rachel: i’m tired of grown-ass people going on racist, sexist, homophobic & anti-semitic rants until they get called out for it, just as tracy did. everything is fine until they are on the receiving end of a backlash, then and only then do they “apologize” and think they can do a little PR or do some weird “rehab” stint and presto! it’s all good! can you imagine if he worked in an office or a restaurant and spouted this hateful speech at a meeting or in front of a crowded dining room? doubtful he’d still have a job.
    yes, humans need to grow and learn, but karma isn’t instant and neither is forgiveness – both need to be earned.

    that being said if tracy continues to try and learn from his mistakes then good for him, but seeing as how he has evidently used this type of “humor” before and didn’t see any need to change (because he got away with it) forgive me if i don’t hold my breath.

  20. original kate says:

    “For a lot of straight guys, especially ones I know, who aren’t necessarily “cool” with gays, they would never harm anyone for being gay, but they certainly are not able to wrap their minds around the concept or be able to sympathize with someone who is born a way that society (and they themselves) deems “unacceptable.”

    @ KJ: they don’t need to accept or be “cool” with gays, that is their perogative, but people who remain silent in the face of discrimination or laugh along with such hateful speech are harmful, if not by action than certainly by complicity. they allow hatred to fester. what if a white comic said “if my sister adopted a black boy i would stab him?” would that be ok with you, too? after all, they are many white people who aren’t cool with black people. obviously in your society being gay is unacceptable, but just so you know many other societies it acceptable. and you may want to pass on to your male friends that people who are secure in their own sexuality are not threatened by what other people do in the bedroom.

  21. KJ says:

    @original kate – I hope you live in a cave far far away somewhere because this is how the world is. This is how humans are. Except in the real world, there is no PR machine. There is no “rehab.” People just go on believing and saying the hateful things they do. You say he couldn’t go on this rant if he worked in the world of the rest of us. Fair enough, but in our world, just because you don’t say it out loud because you like job security doesn’t mean you don’t think it. When people believe or say the things that Tracy did, there IS no public to get outraged. If you think Tracy only changed because he had to (again, valid point that I believe as well), just wait until you meet people who don’t. There are tons and tons and tons of bigots out there who have been and always will be bigots because they aren’t in the public eye. I, too, get sick of this “wave a magic wand and I’m suddenly better” routine that celebrities in trouble often do, but at least, even in the slightest percentage of cases, some people DO have to take a hard look at themselves in the mirror. A lot of the time you can tell when people aren’t contrite (Lindsay Lohan anyone?) and just intend to keep going about their lives as car wrecks because f everyone. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s the extent of how far this guy’s willing to go to try and make amends, but something tells me Tracy Morgan isn’t going to turn around and be spouting this off anytime in the near future, if ever. At the very least, he’s meeting with advocates who actually COULD change his mind. It looks to me like he’s putting his money where his mouth is, and if it sticks, it’s only a good thing.

  22. KJ says:

    Ok, I was being cordial, but now I’m a little miffed. And good lord where to start because there is SO much wrong and misconstrued in your understanding of what I said.

    Original Kate
    I do NOT laugh at gay jokes when insecure straight dudes I know make them. In fact, I’m the girl who went the Notre Dame and got yelled at for being too “sensitive” when I got upset at people making bigoted remarks toward gays. And simply because I acknowledge that there are bigoted people in the world doesn’t mean I accept or promote what they do.

    Inferring that what Tracy said was okay with me is insulting. Plain and simple. Nowhere in my comments did I condone, support or excuse what he did.

    I’m not saying that straight guys are RIGHT in being borderline incapable of sympathizing with how difficult it is to be gay in our world. You may want to pretend we’re living in a world where it’s ok to be gay, but guess what? We’re not. Tracy works in an industry where it is JUST NOW unacceptable to say things like “that’s so gay” and Hollywood is much more liberal in terms of sexuality than the rest of the population.

    I’m done. All I came in to comment was that Tracy seems like he’s trying to at least understand why what he said was so wrong, and for that, I can’t fault the man. He made a huge, terrible mistake. But I’ll save my moral outrage for people who are going out and DOING harmful things, instead of people who are actually trying to make amends about SAYING harmful things.

  23. original kate says:

    KJ – just how many irrational posts are you going to address to me? if you’re done with your tantrum, let me just say that i did not imply that you laughed at gay jokes – i was talking about people being complicit by going along with that kind of “humor,” which many people are. i specifically said “they” not “you.” your posts are full of contradictions, such as why someone who prides herself on the fact that she got yelled at for being too sensitive when people made anti-gay remarks in college would currently have friends who make gay jokes. you don’t laugh at their jokes, true, but hopefully you tell your buddies that their jokes are offensive to you. otherwise you may as well laugh at them.

    i do live in the real world, and i understand bigotry and ignorance all too well. rather than make excuses for it and saying “oh well, that’s just how humans are” i speak out when i can. yes, there are people who will never change their attitude but does that mean the rest of us should stay silent about it? if we did then rape would still be legal, as would slavery and child labor, among other ijustices that society used to accept without question, excepot for those who spoke out and gradually changed the laws. or were they living in caves, too?

    regarding tracy morgan – you did more than comment on him; you stated repeatedly that society is not accepting of gays. since i live in society, too, i felt the need to comment and tell you that yes, some parts of society are accepting of gays. just because you don’t live in one doesn’t mean they don’t exist. tracy morgan had every right to say what he said because we live in a free country. ignorant people have the right to spout their babble, and decent people have every right to tell them how offensive and hurtful their words are. i’m sorry you feel that is useless. in fact, i feel very sad for you in general; your view of humanity seems so fatalistic and grim.

  24. harfang says:

    If the dumbass would just admit that he, like many comedians, is into digging up his own fears and dramatic bits to get empathetic/schadenfreude laughs, and that he is sorry he went a little too far this time but for fuck’s sake he’s a comedian, I’d forgive him immediately. I’m serious. As it is, the gentleman doth protest too much.

  25. AL says:

    “Society is not accepting gays?”

    Now that’s hilarious.

  26. tapioca says:

    “but for fuck’s sake he’s a comedian”

    Yeah, and when Dave Chappelle makes “white” jokes I laugh because he’s actually FUNNY, but should Tracy really get a pass on ranting bigotry on the grounds of his job title?

    John Galliano (fashion designer) goes on trial today for making anti-Semetic remarks at a cafe. By your rationale, I’d argue that his line, “You’re ugly, and your bag is ugly, too!” is funnier than anything Tracy Morgan has ever said, so he should really get a free pass…

  27. Chris says:

    Megan Fox gets sacked for calling Michael Bay Hitler which was at worst tactless but Tracy goes on a hate rant about gays and gets a second chance. What would’ve happened to Tracy if his comments were directed at Jews?

  28. FakeJohnLocke says:

    I would be more impressed if he had not said this in the first place.

    And if he had not been busted on Facebook, none of this self flagellation for forgiveness would be happening.

    So, I guess you got a view into what the real Tracey Morgan is all about and now that he’s taking heat for it, he’s backpedaling furiously. If people did not want to like him, it would be harder to buy the crocodile tears.