Back to the scene of the crime: Tracy Morgan returns to Nashville today to make amends with members of the local gay community (and his Hollywood bosses and peers) after offending many people with his homophobic jokes at a June 3rd show. CNN reports that Morgan will be joined by members of GLAAD as he apologizes directly to show goers who were offended by his routine and as he meets with reps from the Tennessee Equality Project,
GLAAD President Jarret Barrios is optimistic about Morgan’s actions, stating “By not only apologizing, but sending a message of support for gay and transgender people, Tracy will help many realize that no one should be treated differently or subjected to violence.”
Show attendee Kevin Rogers posted Morgan’s remarks on his Facebook page and Jezebel quickly took the story viral. From Rogers’ blog: “(Morgan) 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 f**kers that bully them, not whine about it.” He also quoted the comedian as saying that if one of his sons were gay, he’d “pull out a knife and stab him” and claimed Morgan’s delivery changed when he switched to this topic, as if he were no longer kidding. “His entire demeanor changed during that portion of the night. He was truly filled with some hate towards us.”
As celebrities who get caught tend to do, Morgan released an apology last week. He followed up with a call to GLAAD, in which he stated “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.” He also emphasized that he understands what it’s like to be ridiculed for being 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,” Morgan said. “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.”
Morgan met with homeless gay, lesbian and transgender teens in NYC last week. Clearly, he’s doing a lot to convince people that he’s not really homophobic. Are you buying it?