*Ever since news of Tracy Morgan’s homophobic rant in Nashville on June 3 appearance at the Ryman Auditorium went viral yesterday, it was only a matter of time before his bosses at NBC issued a statement about the remarks.
The bottom line for Morgan is that he still has a job at the networks’ highly rated “30 Rock” series … for now.
In the statement, NBC Chairman of Entertainment Robert Greenblatt said, “we have made it clear to him that this kind of behavior won’t be tolerated.”
“30 Rock” executive producer Tina Fey called Morgan’s remarks “disturbing at a time when homophobic hate crimes continue to be a life-threatening issue for the GLBT Community.” She added that they don’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.”
Full statements below:
STATEMENT — Bob Greenblatt, Chairman NBC Entertainment:
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. 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.
STATEMENT – Tina Fey, Executive Producer, “30 Rock”
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.
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.
Meanwhile, as we reported, Morgan has apologized but gay and lesbian advocacy groups say the apology isn’t enough.
Openly gay actor George Takei, of TV’s “Star Trek” fame called Morgan “a sad, strange man.” Takei asked how an African-American who may have suffered bigotry could perpetuate it himself.
As previously reported, the comic and “30 Rock” star told the audience if his son were gay, he would “pull out a knife and stab” him. He also said, “Gays need to quit being pussies and not be whining about something as insignificant as bullying.”
A gay man who attended Morgan’s performance recounted the remarks on Facebook and from there they went viral.