After being one of the first sites to share the news of Tracy Morgan’s homophobic rant at his Nashville show last week, we forwarded the story on to GLAAD’s Jarrett Barrios. From there, Jarret and the team at GLAAD worked hard to communicate with Tracy Morgan and his team.
Almost immediately after Truth Wins Out‘s article and some calls from GLAAD, Tracy’s publicist issued what has become a standard form letter apology when it comes to these things.
“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.”
Following that, Tina Fey issued an incredible statement:
“I’m glad to hear that Tracy apologized for his comments,” Tina Fey said. “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.” Fey added, “The other producers and I pride ourselves on 30 Rock being a diverse, safe, and fair workplace.”
GLAAD continued to work with Tracy and his handlers and we’re thrilled to see that some incredible good is coming out of this horrible situation – and it’s all because we stood up and said something when bigotry was being spread. Tracy had a conversation with LGBT advocate, Russell Simmons. The transcript of their conversation is on Simmons’ hip-hop blog. Among the revelations is that Tracy would like to attend a gay marriage rally and wants to work to advance LGBT rights.
GLAAD released a statement from Tracy Morgan yesterday:
“I know how bad bullying can hurt. I was bullied when I was a kid. I’m sorry for what I said. I didn’t mean it. I never want to use my comedy to hurt anyone. My family knew what it was like to feel different. My brother was disabled and I lost my father to AIDS in 1987. My dad wasn’t gay but I also learned about homophobia then because of how people treated people who were sick with that. Parents should support and love their kids no matter what. Gay people deserve the same right to be happy in this country as everyone else. Our laws should support that. I hope that my fans gay, straight, whatever forgive and I hope my family forgives me for this.”
Additionally, Tracy will be doing some personal outreach to help LGBT youth.
–THIS WEEK: In NYC, Tracy will meet with LGBT teens from the Ali Forney Center who were shunned or left homeless by their parents as well parents who lost their children to anti-LGBT hate crimes including Elke Kennedy.
–NEXT WEEK: Tracy will return to Tennessee with GLAAD and Russell Simmons to meet with those offended by his remarks and make a public statement about how he supports LGBT people.
–ALSO: Tracy will film a PSA as part of GLAAD’s upcoming ‘Amplify Your Voice’ PSA campaign
Great work to all involved and let this be a lesson that if you see or hear something that’s not right, speak up about it and change can happen.