So by now the internet has been covering the news about Tracy Morgan’s homophobic stand-up bit these past few days, and he has issued an apology, and he couldn’t apologize enough. First he sent this letter:
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.
And then, Morgan released the statement below. (Read about Lady Gaga’s fight for gay rights.)
“I know how bad bullying can hurt. I was bullied when I was a kid. I’m sorry for what I said. I didn’t mean it. I never want to use my comedy to hurt anyone. My family knew what it was like to feel different. My brother was disabled and I lost my father to AIDS in 1987. My dad wasn’t gay but I also learned about homophobia then because of how people treated people who were sick with that. Parents should support and love their kids no matter what. Gay people deserve the same right to be happy in this country as everyone else. Our laws should support that. I hope that my fans gay, straight, whatever forgive and I hope my family forgives me for this.”
Following Morgan’s apology, GLAAD President and CEO, Jarret Barrios released a statement.
Russell Simmons reached out over the weekend to see if we would have a call [with Tracy Morgan]. From the beginning we asked for a public apology and we asked for him to go beyond that apology. We asked him to meet with the parents of LGBT children who have been murdered, parents who lost their children to violence and homeless LGBT youth who had been kicked out by their own families, so he could understand the people who were harmed by his comments in Tennessee.
Kid are harmed by words everyday. LGBT kids who are harassed are 8.5 times more likely to commit suicide and 9 out of 10 LGBT kids in high school experience harassment every year. Those statistics are alarming and by having that conversation [with Morgan] we hope it will help him and others understand that words have great power. Words can make it worse or better and moving forward we hope he will agree and be supportive of LGBT youth. His words now can help and with greater understanding he can become an ally and make a difference for these people.
Tracy Morgan will meet LGBT teens from the Ali Forney Center in NYC this week and will also return to Tennessee with Russell Simmons to apologize to the same audience he offended.
Morgan ignited an online outcry when he performed in a show at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on June 3rd. In his comedy routine, he said “gay was something kids learn from the media and programming” and he said that if his son were gay, “he would pull out a knife and stab” him to death.