NBC’s President of Programming Bob Greenblatt and 30 Rock creator Tina Fey say they’re pleased that Tracy Morgan has apologized for violent anti-gay remarks he made during a comedy concert in Nashville on June 3. Morgan has fallen under fire over the past 24 hours after a series of one-liners he made targeting the LGBTQ during the Tennessee show went viral on Friday. Among them: Morgan said that if his son were gay he “would pull out a knife and stab” him.
Morgan was performing at the Ryman Auditorium when he allegedly told the sold-out crowd: “Gays need to quit being pussies and not be whining about something as insignificant as bullying.”
The remarks have left a sour taste in the mouth of Greenblatt.
“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,” the NBC executive said in the wake of the scandal. “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.”
Fey, 30 Rock’s executive producer, chimed in with similar sentiments:
“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,” the award-winning comedienne, Morgan’s former SNL co-star, remarked.
“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.”
“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,” the Emmy-nominated Saturday Night Live alum said in a statement. “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.”
Meanwhile, Facebook blogger Kevin Rogers, the man whose post, “Why I No Longer ‘Like’ Tracy Morgan â€” A Must Read,” led to Tracy Morgan apologizing for his homophobic remarks during a comedy show in Nashville, Tenn., on June 3, has experienced a major life change thanks to the incident.
He’s come out to his family.
Rogers, 36, a native of White House, Tennessee blew the lid off Morgan’s homophobic routine when his Facebook post caused a flurry of headlines and attention about Morgan’s June 3 show.