Adam Polaski

Tracy Morgan Comes Under Fire for Homophobic Stand-Up Routine

Filed By Adam Polaski | June 10, 2011 10:45 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: 30 Rock, comedy routines, Kevin Rogers, LGBT, SNL, Tennessee, Tracy Morgan

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TracyMorgan.jpgTracy Morgan, former Saturday Night Live comedian and star of 30 Rock, has come under fire for delivering severely homophobic remarks during his stand-up comedy routine at a June 3 performance in Nashville, Tenn. An audience member has revealed that Morgan railed against the campaign to reduce anti-LGBT bullying in schools, said that President Obama should "man up" and stop paying attention to some LGBT issues, and asserted that being gay is a choice.

Kevin Rogers, an audience member during the June 3 show, reported a full summary of what Morgan said in a Facebook note.

The most serious of the reported comments was Morgan's statement that if his son is gay, he better approach Morgan like a man and confess, or he would pull out a knife and stab his son, who he referred to as the N-word, to death.

Rogers writes that Morgan concluded his rant by expressing disregard for any offense the LGBT community would take to the stand-up routine. "Tracy said he didn't fucking care if he pissed off some gays," Rogers writes, "If they can take a fucking dick up their ass ... they can take a fucking joke."

Rogers' note included further details about the routine:

Mr. Morgan 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 said that there is no way a woman could love and have sexual desire for another woman, that's just a woman pretending because she hates a fucking man. He took time to visit the bullshit of this bullying stuff and informed us that the gays needed to quit being pussies and not be whining about something as insignificant as bullying. He mentioned that gay was something kids learn from the media and programming, and that bullied kids should just bust some ass and beat those other little fuckers that bully them, not whine about it.

Morgan has a history of making blatantly homophobic comments during his stand-up routines. In a November 2009 performance at Carnegie Hall in New York, he called being gay "a choice," and in a February 2010 appearance at Northwestern University, he made similarly offensive statements. According to Kevin Sullivan, a reporter for one of the university's online publications, during the February show Morgan "explained that while he harbors no hatred for homosexuals in general, he doesn't appreciate when they try to 'suck [his] dick.'"

This morning Morgan has come under fire from dozens of media outlets, suggesting that the comedian will likely face the same negative media attention as other comedians who have previously gone on homophobic or racist rants, like Michael Richards.

Morgan's publicist declined to comment on the June 3 appearance, but several LGBT bloggers are calling for a public apology from Morgan.

UPDATE: Truth Wins Out reported today that Morgan has confirmed and apologized for the homophobic rant. He said:

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. 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.

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A apology from this clown wouldn't be worth squat.

Word. I used to really like him. Probably means he's gay. Poor guy is dealing with a lot of demons.

Rent Boy scandel to follow no doubt.

Why the ever-loving hell should we accept that half-assed apology? "I said this really horrible shit. Sorry I got caught! I'm not a bigot! Don't call me a bigot even though I said this extraordinarily bigoted shit!"
Yea, no. Sorry, I'll pass on accepting that one.
He's not hateful? That's funny, because he wasn't joking when he said this shit. That's obvious and no amount of backpedaling will cover his ass here.
His beliefs were clearly laid out. It wasn't for humor's sake. Those are his beliefs apparently and guess what? They're remarkably hateful. End of story. A simple, half-assed, "sorry this hit the news and my ass is in the fire" doesn't cover it.

Even ignoring the bigotry, in what world is that rant supposed to be funny?


Wow!! Just wow!! I wonder what Tina Fey thinks about all this and her 30 Rock??? I mean it's not her fault... she is brilliant. But she did hire the asshole.

Just a few hours ago, apparently, NBC and Tina Fey put out statements regarding Morgan's remarks. Tina Fey minces no words in spelling it out to Tracy -- this is a must read!


Alec Bladwin sent out a tweet about Noon today: It said simply, "Oh that Tracy."

Thank you AJ :)

I was curious w/what Tina had to say. I'm glad to see her immediate response to all this. Alec Baldwin is probably wondering... "Why isn't THAT being UTubed??? Rude thoughtless little pigs."

Sucks to be a celebrity. Seriously.... I wouldn't sign that devil contract.

What a diversion from issues that actually impact LGBT folk such as:

-the over duplication of the many, many, many international, national, statewide, multi-state, and big city LGBT groups (like HRC, GLAAD) doing the same thing while their executive directors make huge 6 figure salaries and their low level-staff make barely-livable wages. Meanwhile most independent grass-roots activists in difficult areas for LGBT folk have no access to mentorship and fiscal sponsorship to work to make things better while most rural/small city LGBT folk get left behind

-LGBT on LGBT discrimination based on race, classism, body type, age, etc… What’s more, the fostering of label-based segregation

-the increase on the glorification of unprotected/BB sex. Where are the GLAAD press statements condemning the endless BB sex ads on Adam 4 Adam, the countless rewarding on BB sex on Xtube, and bb sex reviews in Frontiers 4 Men?

-the dumbing down of LGBT folk

The things LGBT people are doing to each other is collectively far more damaging to our community than anything Tracy Morgan says.

The big groups condemned Morgan (as if we really need them all to) and he apologized. So be it. Escalating this is equivalent the South Park episode where Jesse Jackson wants the kid’s dad to literally kiss his ass for accidentally using the N word on TV.

On my YouTube channel, I recently interviewed actor Larry Hankin (Friends, Seinfeld) and Guster lead Singer Ryan Miller and asked them how they feel about gay fans. I explained that it sucks when a group learns a celeb hates on them (Mel Gibson, Michael Richards) and that we would not want to support them if they do. Roseanne Bar made some dumb statements about gays not too long ago. She apologized. I’m over it.

Is HRC or GLAAD doing anything to fund on the ground activist in some of the most difficult areas for LGBT folk. No. Are they giving money to help bullied enroll in self-dense or counseling classes. Not that I know of.

I’mma focus on something more important.

PROTIP: A person can pay attention to and work on those important issues and also spare a minute to take Tracy Morgan to task for this comparatively-minor issue.

Also, letting situations such as Morgan's rant go without comment makes all those other worthy goals more difficult because it normalizes his hatefulness.

I must agree with jeff4justice. This isn't merely "sparing a moment"; many organizations, GLAAD in particular, have been on an intensive media campaign to admonish Tracy Morgan for his outrageous performance. Look at GLAAD's Website and Twitter feed. Notwithstanding his apology (whether sincere or not) they are continuing to pursue this issue and publicly condemn Tracy Morgan to no end. GLAAD is even compelling him to meet with a an LGBT family, in hopes of education and rehabilitation

The sad reality is that what began as a relatively low-key controversy has been artificially escalated into nationwide spectacle because of a handful of organizations that are convinced this is a "worst case scenario" and have raised the LGBT Terror Alert level.

I firmly believe in being held accountable for our words. But why do we as a community need hand holding at every turn? While portions of Tracy's rhetoric certainly deserved censure, is that not something that we as a society have the power to do without enforcement from GLAAD?


And? So Tracy Morgan should be given a pass because you and jeff4justice don't like how GLAAD uses their time? Sorry, not buying it. If you have problems with GLAAD you should be dealing with that directly, not derailing people's very rightful anger at Tracy Morgan.

Thanks for the advice and words of encouragement. I will continue campaigning GLAAD directly.

Isiah Washington said the word "fag" and got fired (which I applaud). Morgan, IMO, said far worse in this little tirade (I refuse to call it a comedy routine). I don't care about Tina Fey's 'ally' statement... that kind of statement is easy to make. You really want to call yourself an ally, fire the fool. Having him back on that show making his fat salary is offensive and a statement his hate speech is tolerated.

I agree - he should be fired. I generally like 30 Rock and even before this tirade, I think Tracy was the weakest part of the show. Then again, I'm generally irritated by the comedic buffoon characters.

Let me start by saying that I fully respect GLAAD, PFLAG, et al for carrying out their mission to protect the interests of LBGT persons.

Tracy Morgan’s tirade has compelled us as a society to acknowledge the very real power of our words. And indeed, we should acknowledge that language alone can promote prejudice, discrimination, and even hatred — often when we might least expect it.

But, if words are so powerful (as even GLAAD has attested), then why do we within our LGBT community not likewise hold ourselves accountable for repeatedly misconstruing our meanings and intentions?

Specifically, I am referring to the numerous organizations that claim to promote equality but refuse to acknowledge the very real power of words:

The initialisms PFLAG, GLSEN, GSA, GLAAD identify an absense of sexual diversity. These organizations exclude bisexual, pansexual, and all other legitimate sexual orientations from their very names — but all too conveniently expand their mission statement to seek the additional campaign support from other sexualities. Yet we never scrutinize this blatant rejection of sexual diversity?

Are PFLAG, GLAAD, et al up to the very same challenge that they have proposed to Mr. Tracy? Perhaps apologies and half-hearted conciliation is not always enough. It is time to prove their fidelity to the cause by modifying their own language accordingly.

This history assignment is long overdue. PFLAG, GLSEN, GSA, and GLAAD all have an obligation to finally change their outdated and prejudicial names to reflect the modern-day nature of the LGBT community — which is full inclusivity and full equality.

In fitting with their mission statements, they should find no hesitation to do otherwise. After all, the power of words compels them.

Randall K.
AlterPride Project