On this slow-news Friday, it seems like the whole Internet is up in arms about Tracy Morgan’s homophobic rant at a stand-up show last night. As audience member Kevin Rogers, who is gay, recounted on Facebook, Morgan — never one to shy away from edgy material — “took it upon himself to mention about how he feels all this gay shit was crazy and that women are a gift from God and that ‘Born this Way’ is bullshit, 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).” He went on to cast doubt on the plausibility of lesbianism and the impact of bullying on queer kids. Then, “He said if his son that was gay he better come home and talk to him like a man and not [he mimicked a gay, high pitched voice] or he would pull out a knife and stab that little N (one word I refuse to use) to death.” If anyone can figure out what’s funny about that statement, please be sure to let us know.
Now, Morgan has issued a statement: “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. I’m not a hateful person and don’t condone any kind of violence against others… 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.”
To us, this reads as nothing more than standard crisis-management PR. It’s an ineffective apology precisely because what Morgan said was so hurtful and so seemingly sincere. We love him on 30 Rock, but before we even think about forgiving him for this flood of hate speech, we’re going to need to know what he could have been thinking when he said it. It would also be nice to see Morgan make a commitment to learning more about LGBT people and their struggle for equality.
We’re interested to see whether Tina Fey — who, aside from being a generally smart and sane person, has a ton of gay fans — will have anything to say about Morgan’s homophobic debacle. Alec Baldwin has already weighed in via Twitter: “Oh that Tracy.” Meanwhile, as usual, George Takei gets the last laugh.