Not sure why Tracy Morgan’s apparent homophobic rant is making news this morning, especially since the quotes come from a performance last Friday evening here at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. But alas the words are now making the media rounds and we shall talk about the gays. The highlights include Tracy allegedly making several sharp remarks:
— “Gays need to quit being p*ssies and not be whining about something as insignificant as bullying.
— “Gay is something that kids learn from the media and programming.”
— My son “better talk to me like a man and not in a gay voice or I’ll pull out a knife and stab that little n*gger to death.”
— “I don’t “f*cking care if I piss off some gays, because if they can take a f*cking dick up their ass… they can take a f*cking joke.”
The gays and friends do get quite up in arms, to which I can attest. Every time I say “gay” in a post here, it almost guarantees a set of comments which accuse me of being homophobic or even a closet case. Not true. I address each specific situation as I come across it. And while I’m a huge Tracy Morgan fan, the rant walks the fine line between comedic license to offend and controversially wrong.
I attend a lot of comedy shows on a fairly regular basis. When they enter the venue, the audience knows what they’re getting in for when going to see any entertainer and there’s bound to be uncomfortable, outlandish and totally disagreeable things said. I literally walk in to take my seat knowing I’m going to hear some f*cked up sh*t and I’m not sure if that would make me a glutton for punishment or someone with a sick sense of humor, though I think the latter applies. I wouldn’t go see Sinbad or Steve Harvey’s G-rated acts; I pay for lewdness, absurdity and expect to be entertained. So while Tracy’s words do sound wrong, I can’t condemn him but I have to question that spirit and thoughts behind them.
Outside the context of the performance, reading any of the lines would make them seem totally offensive and has to be considered when gauging how the jokes went over in the live setting. Apparently, at least one audience member appears highly pissed, saying Morgan’s words weren’t so much jokes and that his “entire demeanor changed during that portion of the night. He was truly filled with some hate towards us.” The Ryman issued a statement not accepting or acknowledging any blame or consent, yet still apologizing for offended customers and Morgan’s publicist seems to have given a “no comment” when pressed. On the flipside, GLAAD, a big supporter of Morgan’s 30 Rock, hasn’t mentioned a word either.
So does it sound like “just jokes” or did Tracy conjure up a Michael Richards’ type rant painted in a rainbow-hue?
Update: And then Tracy apologized and so has GLAAD, according to EW.
“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.”