Comedian Tracy Morgan has landed in hot water after homophobic comments last week during one of his stand-up routines. Activist groups are demanding apologies and people are up in arms about what he said, but comedians don't really need to apologize for not being very funny.
Morgan, who is already known for being a homophobic freak show, went on and on about how being gay is a choice and how he would stab his son if he came home and said he was gay. To be sure, Tracy Morgan is the bonafide King of the Losers. I have no interest in having dinner with him. His comments make me want to hurl, but he is also a comedian.
His job is to be funny, right? So when he's not funny, the only person he is hurting is himself. Of course, part of being funny is pushing the envelope and saying the things everyone thinks but no one says. Well guess what Tracy? You're on your own on this one.
Comedians don't owe anyone an apology when they go too far. And everyone could be offended by something a comedian says at some point. There are some taboos that most people won't find funny -- these include the Holocaust, 9/11, and slavery -- but you know what? Given the right joke, maybe they could be.
Does anyone remember that line in The Hangover where Zach Galifianakis says, "They gave out rings at the Holocaust?" It was funny, right? But it danced on the edge. Too far over that line and people could have been super offended -- and with good reason. No one is saying that homosexuals shouldn't be offended. But they also shouldn't expect an apology.
Tracy Morgan is a homophobe who also happens to be funny enough to land a major role on 30 Rock. This doesn't make him some kind of expert in homosexuality. His comedy routine is his own to do with as he pleases. If he isn't funny, the only person he hurts is himself.
There are tons of comedians who joke about being handicapped and being religious and a host of other things that anyone could be offended by at any point. Sarah Silverman is hilarious, but Jesus Is Magic probably offended some people. But so what? Isn't comedy supposed to offend?
When we all sit around and whine demanding apologies, we really don't get anywhere. If we want to really hurt Morgan, let's hurt him where it counts. Stop watching his show. Stop buying tickets to his stand-up routines.
This is a man who thinks it's funny to joke about stabbing his son because he is gay. This isn't a reasonable, intelligent human being. So what good would an apology do? Morgan can joke about whatever he wants all day long. He can think it's funny. It's his right.
But it's our right to make it clear it's not funny at all. If you hate gays, then dude, we hate you.
Do you think an apology will help?
Image via NBC