Tina Fey Calls Tracy Morgan's Anti-Gay Rant 'Disturbing,' Hopes His Apology Is Accepted

Tracy Morgan is apologizing for his “choice of words” during an anti-gay rant he unleashed at a Nashville, Tenn., comedy club last week — during which he suggested he’d “stab” his son if he turned out to be an effeminate homosexual. The 30 Rock star added that gay people should stop whining about bullying.

News of the screed swept the Internet after Kevin Rogers, a gay man who attended the show, posted on Facebook an item called “WHY I NO LONGER ‘LIKE’ Tracy Morgan – A MUST READ.” On Friday, Morgan’s publicist released a statement on the comedian’s behalf.

“I want to apologize to my fans and the gay and 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,” Morgan said. “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.”

UPDATE: Morgan’s 30 Rock boss and costar, Tina Fey, made a statement late Friday, saying: “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. It also doesn’t line up with the Tracy Morgan I know, who is not a hateful man and is generally much too sleepy and self-centered to ever hurt another person. I hope for his sake that Tracy’s apology will be accepted as sincere by his gay and lesbian coworkers at 30 Rock, without whom Tracy would not have lines to say, clothes to wear, sets to stand on, scene partners to act with, or a printed-out paycheck from accounting to put in his pocket. The other producers and I pride ourselves on 30 Rock being a diverse, safe, and fair workplace.”

What do you think of Morgan’s remarks and his subsequent apology? Will the kerfuffle change your 30 Rock viewing habits? Take our poll below!

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172 Comments
  1. Hmmm says:

    Here’s an idea: they stick Morgan’s character in a bunch of pro gay-themed episodes for the next run of the series and just rip on Morgan in a public forum. It would be a strong meta-wink from writers to viewers, as they’re prone to do.

  2. rondre says:

    I will say one thing the gay community is a bunch of whiney crybabies. You act like can’t anyone say anything about u without getting offended. If I was famous and waited to make a joke about gay people I wouldn’t apologize about anything. Gay people are a bunch of whiney hypocrits. If people can diss blacks jews muslims handicapped and not it be a big deal gays should be held to the same standard. If you choose to be gay be proud about it and take the criticism or don’t be gay.

    • Francis says:

      Gay people are whiny, because they don’t allow themselves to be denigrated? Really? They’re whiny because they don’t allow themselves to be mocked and have a man stand up and say they are mistakes? Wow.

      Let’s be honest. No self-respecting comedian has ever said “I will stab my kid if he’s in an interracial relationship.” No comedian has said “All Christians are mistakes of nature.” No, because if they said things like this, they would be crucified. Michael Richards’ career went into the toilet when his anti-gay rant went viral. This situation is no different.

      But, your last comment says it is. Being gay isn’t a choice and no-one should be criticized for being gay. That’s what the real issue is here with you. You think being gay is wrong, so you think it’s perfectly OK to denigrate gay people. You’re bigotry is simply unacceptable in a civil society and to civilized adults.

    • Mel says:

      To rondre shanika zewanda chonile
      Whered u go tooo sckool sista. I thinc we had some class togetha. Holla…. Get an education and learn some grammar

  3. Erin says:

    This has definitely changed my opinion of Tracy Morgan, and I definitely wouldn’t support HIM by going to see him perform his stand-up act, or by purchasing a book written by him, etc. However, I will continue to watch “30 Rock” and I don’t think they should fire him unless they suffer a true drop in viewership because of this. There is a major difference between what he said and what Isaiah Washington said, in that Tracy Morgan said it off the clock in a venue in which he was allowed to say whatever he wanted. Isaiah Washington was on set and was speaking about one of his coworkers, to another coworker. And for the record, I’d only stab my child if he grew up to be a Republican.

  4. Joe says:

    Hey remember when Chris Brown beat the crap out of Rihanna? Celebrities are texting pictures of their genitals, hanging out with prostitutes, snorting cocaine, cheating on their wives, etc. Leave the guy alone he made a bad joke and apologized.

    • Mel says:

      No way. I hope the media stays with this and his ghetto ass is thrown back to section 8 housing where he belongs.

      • Joe says:

        Really, Mel? You hope “his ghetto ass is thrown back to section 8 housing where he belongs.” Sounds like racism. Does that mean you should be fired from your job?

        • Stereotype says:

          Exactly, funny how some people get angry about others’ stereotyping views by stereotyping a part of society themselves. Probably not even aware of it.

  5. Francis says:

    So 11% of people don’t find Morgan’s statements offensive. Then if you add those who say they don’t watch the show, what, maybe 15% of you accept this speech as OK? You think it’s OK to say “I will kill my son if he’s an effeminate gay”? You think it’s OK to say gay people shouldn’t be supported?

    Morgan’s rant was DISGUSTING and anyone who thinks what he said is OK is disgusting as well. He went on a RANT. Supposedly lasted 15-20 minutes from what I read. It wasn’t a quick joke here and there. It was an anti-gay diatribe, without a punchline. Ultimately, you either tolerate and accept his speech or you don’t, and if you do, then you’re effectively admitting yourself to be anti-gay.

    The reason why Morgan needs to be fired is simple. Not firing him is a big message being sent that what he said is actually acceptable. It’s tolerable. It sends the message that it’s OK to be anti-gay and horribly homophobic.

    The fact is, it’s not OK, that position sends a horrible message, and no-one who isn’t homophobic should nor would associate and support this man. He has made anti-gay statements in the past. He’s sorry he was caught, and that’s it. Bad actions have consequences and the consequence here should be an immediate termination of his role on 30 Rock.

    This is not about freedom of speech. But about taking responsibility of what you say. We all have a duty to behave in a civil manner and take accountability of our actions. What Morgan did was wrong, and now he has to take responsibility.

    • crap says:

      You’re so over the top with this. Not the being pissed at Morgan part. Not the thinking he should be fired part. But all this if anyone who doesn’t agree with you is a homophobe and anyway who doesn’t think this is an outrage is disgusting. Dial it back maybe.

      The whole “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” thing never works.

      • Francis says:

        The thing is, this is a black and white issue. You support the gay community or you don’t. It’s not something to take for granted, it’s not a game. It’s reality. If you support the gay community then you have their back and you know when something is anti-gay, you do the right thing as an accepting person. If you don’t support the gay community then no, gay people won’t look at you any differently than that person looks at them. Respect goes both ways, and is denied both ways as well.

        • Jon says:

          It’s not really black and white. I know plenty of people who do not support the gay community but don’t oppose it either- they coexist peacefully but do not necessarily agree with it.

          • Wow says:

            People learning to live together regardless of similarities and differences…who’d a thunk it.

            @Francis, don’t you see by putting down the hammer and MAKING people chose sides is called divisiveness, which leads to misunderstanding, which leads to stereotyping which leads to exactly what you claim to be so obviously agitated about.

            Dialing it back and think about your own prejudices first before you apply it to others.

            The main way to attack ignorance in any form is to expose it, discuss its roots. Sometimes we can agree and sometimes just we can agree that we disagree and leave it at that. By forcing separation, you encourage ignorance.

            Think about it.

  6. Swansteel says:

    Where’s my Haley fix? Gahhhh!

    • Tusk says:

      I’m with you, unfortunately, as much as he is entertaining, we may have to wait until AFTER Casey’s interview.

      Damn Idoloonies has mad me a Haley addict. Jonesing bad (Although getting a little fix from all those postings on youtube performing at some yacht club, pre-Idol)

  7. Francis says:

    Oh, and James, self-respect? What self-respecting person is a bigot? No-one from what I can tell. Bigotry is indecent. It’s dehumanizing, it’s a negative scourge against humanity. Having self-respect, well, character, how you treat others, personality dictate that. And it’s clear with your lack of respect towards others you are not someone who is a dignified individual.

    BTW, if you’re going to castigate 2 men for engaging in the same-sex acts a man and a woman engage in, you’re basically admitting you’re a complete hypocrite. Congrats to you.

  8. Connie says:

    I dont watch the show. But i am highly offended for the LGBT community. I am glad i was never a fan of his. I think he should be fired from 30 Rock.

  9. Jeff says:

    Someone should start a boycott of 30 Rock. They need to hear our voices. Hate speech will not be tolerated in any fashion.

  10. Jaime says:

    As a proponent of free speech, I don’t like to hear about anyone jumping up and down to fire someone for their words. I am a gay woman, and while I found Tracey’s rant to be disgusting, I also don’t think he should immediately be fired from his job for it. The man apologized. None of us, not one of us, knows whether he was sincere or insincere in his apology, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt. Tina Fey works with the man and said, while disturbing, this is NOT the man she knows, so it was a bad joke gone wrong. I’m not excusing it, but I am forgiving it and quite frankly for all the people who have posted on this article with their “holier than thou” attitudes, I’m offended by that too. We hate when people judge us because of who we are and what we say, yet so quick to judge others. Think about it and forgiveness. I will continue to watch 30 Rock and if Tracey Morgan does something like this again, then I will rethink my decision. For now, I accept his apology and will move on.

    • Wow says:

      Thank you for being a voice of reason. People don’t seem to see they are exhibiting the same type of hate that they claim is so abhorant when it applies to their interests. You don’t fight hate with hate.

      Ask Ghandi (OK I know he isn’t still with us…but you get my meaning ;)).

  11. John says:

    tina fey = class act, exactly the way she should have handled it

    • sashay says:

      Totally agree with you, John. I was again impressed by how well she handled it, and quickly, given that the immediate response by the media was what does Tina Fey think about this? I also think Jaime has a pretty reasonable response, similar to how Tina and the 30 Rock producers are probably planning to respond. I am sure that TM is on very thin ice, any more public displays like this and he will be quietly written out within the next season. I am confident that it will be handled much better than the CBS Sheen fiasco.

  12. Luke says:

    All Tina Fey did was give the gay community she supposedly supports a big middle finger because tolerating Tracey Morgan’s disgustingly homophobic rant is condoning it.

    • josh says:

      No, buddy. She knows him personally and knows his true feelings and opinions, so she has the basis to say he is not really a bigot as his comments suggest. You, on the other hand, were not present at the comedy club to hear tone and context, do not know Trace personally, and have clearly chosen a side regardless of what people who know him have said. So basically, you lack the background to say anything. Get off our high horse and quit judging. Good day.

  13. Yo says:

    Hate speech will not go away if people support it, even passively, by watching a television show the perpetrator is on. Sometimes, we must change behaviors before we change beliefs. This is one of those times. I will not watch 30 Rock.

  14. Dani says:

    When he said he used a bad choice of words, how the hell did he? He said he would stab his son if he turned out gay. How is that a “bad choice of words”. You said you would murder someone if they turned out gay. Even if you are a comedian, those types of jokes are off limits.

    • liz says:

      Off limits … according to you.

      • Jean says:

        Agree with Liz. I’ve seen Morgan live. Antics and comments like these are rather typical. He likes to be controversial. He has said the same kind of thing about if his son was born Asian. Expect this when you see Morgan live.

  15. Danielle H. says:

    Where are the moderators? The responses here need edited or removed for sure. Alot of hate flying around from all sides. Keep it civil people, come on. Being rude is also a bad offense.

  16. Ken The Great says:

    Being a member of the quadgendered trisexual community, I can’t help but wonder how much longer we have to wait for the Haley interview.

  17. Racism - even funnier than homophobia! says:

    Black people should stop whining about racism, if a black person tried to be friends with me, i would stab them!

    Hey – Dont be offended by my precious beliefs, black people. Stop whining – it’s called ‘comedy’.

  18. Lisa says:

    Oh, get a life people. What gay/lesbian/bi person hasn’t said something offensive in their lifetime, and yes, I’ve heard gay men say some horrible, horrible things about lesbians and bisexuals, and vice-versa. People need to just grow up, jokes are jokes, and if you’re offended, stop watching. And I can understand the whole “stop whining” thing. The new ads telling kids it will get better, instead of killing themselves are misguided. The point should be if you are going to kill yourself over ANYTHING, get help. Telling suicidal kids that it’s going to get better is ridiculous. They need to be saying to go get help, not giving hope over something kids can’t control – the rest of the world around them. While it’d be wonderful for everyone to be open about their sexuality, in many communities it is just not possible. Sorry, these kids don’t all live in San Francisco, NYC, or have the wonderful opportunity to work in a safe environment. People need to start having a reality check and soon.

    • Hmmm says:

      “While it’d be wonderful for everyone to be open about their sexuality, in many communities it is just not possible. Sorry, these kids don’t all live in San Francisco, NYC, or have the wonderful opportunity to work in a safe environment. People need to start having a reality check and soon.”
      —So, based on this, you’re saying that safety should only be afforded to those born into the right setting, place, and circumstances? Gee, did you write Morgan’s joke?

  19. Jenn says:

    Sorry, but his “apology” just doesn’t come close to make his disgusting, homophobic rant OK. To then give him an award??? Nope, just doesn’t work. He should have refused it, then maybe he’d come close to a proper apology. I just can’t believe after all these years that someone like him would say the things he did. Just very very disappointing. I didn’t really care for him to begin with but this just totally turned me off anything he has to do with.

    When is all this hatred and homophobia going to stop?

  20. justin says:

    i don’t think anyone who read the initial facebook note stating everything that Tracey said as part of this rant, and the whole set, would think that what happened was anything a normal, sane comedian would use in his routine. i’m sure it was all the delivery that upset this person, and i’m assuming it was borderline crazy. for something like this to be funny it would have to be executed with alot of restraint, perfect timing, ALOT of irony and self mocking. but i don’t think tracy morgan has the skills to deliver in that way. and i can just imagine the way he delivered it is exactly how the facebook review stated…. i don’t watch 30 rock for tracy, i watch for jane krakowski, and i fastforward his scenes as a result. hence, i hate when they share storylines because I can’t do this. I just don’t get it. Jane is a talented commedienne and he is a talentless hack just gliding through on being a stereotype. He’s not worth keeping on.

  21. Mary Bucklew says:

    When 30 Rock first premiered, I watched with great anticipation. I love TF and AB and knew with her as the head writer, it would be brilliant. The first scene that Tracy Morgan was in was so horrendous, and his character was so “just Tracy being Tracy,” I flipped the switch. Didnt care for any of his acts on SNL and couldn’t stomach seeing his over the top role in 30R. I dont find him funny. This just seals it for me. If TF lets this blow over, she’s as feckless as he is. And if the very opinionated AB doesn’t raise the roof, I will be sorely disappointed in both of them.

  22. PKate says:

    Geesh! What ever happened to free speech?
    Get…. over…. it! Morgan has the right to say whatever he wants.
    This is America and free-speech is guaranteed by the U.S Constitution.

  23. PKate says:

    This is America and free-speech is guaranteed by the U.S Constitution whether anyone likes what is said by ANY individual or not.
    Geesh! I am relitvely sure that there are more important things to get upset about in this life…get on with it!

  24. robert says:

    It was a joke, hes a comedian. Its what they do. If he said he would stab his kid for listening to country music, or playing D&D you think ppl would be freaking out? NO. Get off your soapboxes and laugh at life. If you really think hes serious then 30 rock isnt a show you should be watching anyways.

  25. Grace says:

    Fantastic post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more
    on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further.
    Bless you!

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