Tracy Morgan Fans Don't Deserve His Apology

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tracy morganI know a lot of people are going to hate me for saying this, but would everybody please relax about Tracy Morgan's homophobic onstage rant? Yes, I realize the man said during his stand-up routine that he would stab his son to death if he came home and said he was gay, and yes, that's an outrageous thing to say. But, hello, everything that comes out of the mouth of Tracy Morgan is outrageous! Morgan's entire approach to comedy is based on the concept that nothing is sacred.

Anybody claiming to be a fan of Morgan's knows this to be true. So why have people suddenly decided that this time he's crossed the line? What line? If there was a line, he crossed it years ago.

Now Morgan has issued an apology to his fans and the gay and lesbian community for his "choice of words." No doubt NBC was pressuring their 30 Rock star to make amends, but I'm still disappointed that Morgan had to say he was sorry. The way I look at it, if you're going to skewer every single race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation on the planet, no one group gets to take offense. Morgan makes derogatory comments about women all the time. Does it bother me? No, because he says equally insulting things about his own demographic. Morgan is an equal-opportunity trash-talker, this is no secret.

So I think it says more about the prejudice of people who get laugh hysterically at one of Morgan's jokes but get pissed off about another than it does about any bias Morgan himself may or may not have. Hey, you were just cracking up at that joke about welfare mothers ... so it's okay to dump on one type of person but not another? Nope, sorry. If you're signing up as a Morgan fan, you've got to check those politically correct tendencies at the door.

I would also go so far as to argue that it's the responsibility of comedians to challenge our current "you can't say that!" culture by pushing every button they can reach. In fact, comedians have long been cast as the soothsayers of our society, the people who can be counted on to speak their minds without bowing down to censorship. I can't even think of a truly significant comedian from the past several decades who didn't rattle a few cages at some point or another: George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Chris Rock, Robin Williams, Andrew Dice Clay, Eddie Murphy, Sarah Silverman, Margaret Cho. As long as we can laugh at ourselves, as these comedians did and do, laughing at everybody else is fair play ... getting other people to laugh at themselves is nothing short of a miracle.

Do you think Tracy Morgan crossed the line?


Image via Alex Erde/Flickr

30 rock, celebs, celebrity gossip

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mustb... mustbeGRACE

Isn't it a matter of integrity?


All the people out there who want us to believe that they can't wait for their kid to come out to them are full of crap.


Would I, as a parent stab,  my kid, as Tracy relates he'd do if they came out of the closet?


No.


Would I feel soul-piercing anguish about it?


Yes.


Many, many parents would.


Who are YOU to judge them?


While you're waiting for the joyful moment when YOUR kid comes out to you, why don't you  all mind your own business?

ArmyGal ArmyGal

I agree he doesn't owe anyone an apology. Reminds me of the lesbian lady who threw a fit at Dave Chappelle's show, and all he said was 'titty balls'. And she was quotes as saying she was wanting to hear jokes about race and politics. But when something hit close to home, she suddenly has a problem? Typical. No one cares until it's a subject close to them.

nonmember avatar Elise

There is a huge difference between making fun of gays and making "jokes" about killing someone. I don't think anyone would find it okay if a comedian said, "If my daughter ever comes home with a black boyfriend I'm going to stab her to death". Joking about killing your children is incredibly messed up.

Pua Smith

My belief as a comidean and as a comedy enjoyer is, everything is funy or nothing is. Hence the reason I don't do my little stand-up to anyone who doesn't know me well. If you're going to make fun of one demographic, you have to make fun of all, especially the one you fall into. From my understand, it wasn't so much of a joke as it was a tirade against gays, but whatever. That's a he-said, he-said (rather than she-said) situation and everyone in attendence probably has a differing opinion on that. So do I think he needs to apologize to the gay community? No, not really, that's his own grave he is digging. But I do think he owes his son (does he have a son?) an apology for saying something so awful and it shouldn't be a public one, rather one in private.


Grace- I think having soul-piercing anguish is a lot different than saying you would stab them to death. I don't see anything wrong with someone hurting (for whatever reason) if their child came out to them, but proclaiming in front of thousands of people you would kill them? Something very wrong. I, however, won't feel any pain or regret if one of my children come out to me, but I will be glad they felt safe enough with me to be honest.

nonmember avatar IrishWhiskey

The key difference in all those comics you listed, and Tracy's other jokes, is that they are making JOKES. They have a punchline, they satirize, they make some sort of point. One line in Tracy's rant was a joke, but the rest was just being hateful with no other point. Where is the joke in 'women can't like other women, they just hate men' and 'If my son told me he was gay, I'd stab him'? These are things bigots actually think and say, and there's no indication this was satire, rather than what his beliefs.

Everything reported from the event (including Morgan's response where he doesn't claim at all not to mean the things he said), suggest it was just a Micheal Richards moment. When Richards broke down, he was still making jokes, but it wasn't comedy. Comedy is strengthened by the ability to say anything in the purpose of a joke. It's not strengthened by claiming that being hateful is sufficient to constitute comedy. And while the comic's you listed would defend his right to speech, I very much doubt they'd claim that their use of derogatory language has the same purpose and value as his.


Patrick Barrett

I agree that Tracy Morgan fans have nothing to complain about. His whole act is trash, and his latest load of trash is really no surprise. But seriously, if you think Tracy Morgan is a "soothsayer" or in any way comparable to George Carlin or Richard Pryor, you probably ought to lie down with a cold compress on your head. Sure, he's entitled to speak his mind. That doesn't mean his mind isn't tragically sick.

butte... butterflymkm

Grace-considering every post you make here is about judging others I hardly think you have room to talk.



Jokes are jokes. But talking about killing our own kid isn't a joke.

mustb... mustbeGRACE

Excuse me, genius.


I think you just judged me.


Apparently, intelligent folks deserve more than you're able to offer here.

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