2:40 PM CDT, June 10, 2011
Oh, how I wish Tracy Morgan's recent actions were merely an homage to his "30 Rock" character, Tracy Jordan.
Jordan, as last season's "30 Rock" story arc revealed, desperately wanted to dash the high expectations of critics and fans after starring in a dramatic film and finding the pressure of being acclaimed too much to bear.
It resulted in him going into hiding.
Perhaps the man behind the character should do the same, or at least refraining from foaming at the mouth like a madman.
According to today's news, Morgan went off into an anti-gay tirade while performing at a Nashville club. Among his observations, the comedian reportedly stated that a woman couldn't love another woman and that it is just an act to cover up bitterness or hatred toward men. He called those who complain of anti-gay bullying the p-word and threatened violence if, hypothetically, his own son were gay and came to him with complaints about being bullied.
A former Morgan fan who was there, wrote a very touching Facebook note about it, saying that the comments didn't seem to be part of the show, but a truly personal revelation of Morgan's. He said he had to fight the urge to leave the theater, particularly with others in the crowd cheering Morgan on.
The comments weren't jokes, to this observer.
Even Morgan seems to admit as much in an apology statement released on Friday. In part, he said:
"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," he said in a statement. "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."
He should be given some credit for an immediate apology, rather than running down the clock with excuses or comments that people should learn to take a joke.
But what he shouldn't get is a free pass. A journalist I admire wrote some comments I vehemently disagree with..stating that if comedians must apologize for their words, a lot of apologies will be in the works. It appears this journalist sees this as some kind of PC situation and that we are now losing our sense of humor as a society.
Untrue. Comics should be given freedom, but if we defend Morgan's actions-- which he says went beyond his act-- then we must also turn a blind eye and ear to Michael Richards, who also is a comic but clearly wasn't kidding when he went H.A.M and full-blown racist on black hecklers some years ago.
Comics are human beings and they have views, most of which they can infuse with humor and present to laughter. But when their views are abhorrent, as Morgan's are, they need to be called out.
I believe in freedom of speech, humor, and all of that, but I also believe in respect for fellow human beings. And if that makes me PC, well, I'd rather be that than an insensitive and seemingly uncaring lout who can only see their own narrow perspective.
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