The "30 Rock" star outside Letterman last month. - Donna Ward/Getty Images
"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."
Previously: Do you find Tracy Morgan hilarious on "30 Rock"? Lots of people do. But the raunchy comic is a different person in his standup act, and it's costing him fans: at his show in Nashville last weekend, Morgan launched into an ugly, rage-filled, anti-gay tirade that prompted a walkout by ticketholders.
"The sad thing is that none of this rant was a joke," a former fan says in a public post on his Facebook page. "His entire demeamor changed during that portion of the night. He was truly filled with some hate towards us. As far as I could see 10 to 15 people walked out. I had to fight myself to stay seated, but I knew if I got up ... he won. He wanted to piss people off and get a rise. I didn't let him win by chasing me off, he surely didn't get any applause or laughter from me after that point -- mainly because he was no longer funny to me. I wasn't holding back, it just wasn't funny."
Morgan's cruel commentary does not bear quoting in full. In his twisted logic, homosexuality is a choice and young gay victims of bullying are "whining"; he said that if his son was gay and "whined" about getting bullied, he would pull out a knife and stab him.
The gay rights organization Truth Wins Out is asking for an apology from Morgan and a statement of condemnation from his "30 Rock" boss Tina Fey. In a statement Friday morning, GLAAD weighed in on the issue:
"Tracy Morgan's management needs to investigate these allegations and should they prove true, we call on him to remove these violently anti-gay remarks from his show and send a strong message that anti-gay violence is not something to joke about."
This is not the first time Morgan has come under fire for controversial comments: at his Carnegie Hall show in 2009, audience members walked out after Morgan described being gay a choice.
Comedians often justify hate speech by accusing the audience of having no sense of humor. If Morgan refuses to publicly apologize for this, that will probably be his private rationale for his toxic behavior.
- Tracy Morgan