Update: Tracy Morgan has apologized for anti-gay remarks made at his standup performance in Nashville Friday. "I want to apologize to my fans and the gay & 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.”
30 Rock star Tracy Morgan is facing renewed criticism for allegations he turned an edgy stand-up appearance in Nashville into an unhinged anti-gay rant. The accusation that he said he'd stab his son to death if he found out he was gay and that President Obama should stop defending bullied gay youth has spurred calls for NBC to dismiss Morgan from the 30 Rock cast. Unlike Michael Richards's racist standup routine, there's no transcript or video of Morgan's June 4 performance at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. The controversy started when Kevin Rogers wrote a Facebook post describing what he heard when he attended the show. Describing Morgan's bit, Rogers wrote:
He said if his son that was gay he better come home and talk to him like a man and not [he mimicked a gay, high pitched voice] or he would pull out a knife and stab that little N (one word I refuse to use) to death...
He... 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 f*ckers that bully them, not whine about it... Tracy then said he didn't fucking care if he pissed off some gays, because if they can take a f*cking dick up their ass... they can take a f*cking joke.
Responding to the post, Evan Hurst, director of social media for Truth Wins Out, a gay advocacy group, demanded Morgan respond to the allegations. "If Tracy Morgan indeed did say these things, he needs to respond immediately with either an explanation or a contrite apology," he said in a statement. “Tracy Morgan has worked under 30 Rock writer and producer Tina Fey since 2006. Ms. Fey has a long record of supporting LGBT causes, and so we would ask her to respond to these allegations as well."
Two days before he took the stage of the Ryman, the longtime home of the country music radio show The Grand Ole Opry, Morgan previewed his routine in an interview with The Tennessean. "I just be giving you some stuff!" Morgan said. "I think Nashville is hip, that’s why I like playing it. People get what I’m saying. They understand the words that are coming out of my mouth."
Ratcheting up the pressure on NBC, David Badash at the blog The New Civil Rights Movement wrote this morning, "Morgan, if any of this is true, needs to apologize, and NBC needs to fire him, regardless." Thus far, Morgan's reps issued this statement: "There is no comment, thank you for your inquiry."