So now that Tracy Morgan has apologized, what’s the takeaway from this incident?
In case you’re catching up, audience member Kevin Rogers reported that a lengthy homophobic rant was part of actor/comedian Tracy Morgan’s routine during a performance last week at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. You can read Rogers's account of the incident here on Facebook - but the most disturbing was Morgan's statement that “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.”
Morgan's management told us and other groups this morning:
“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.”
So that’s where we are now. Morgan’s right to admit that violence against LGBT young people is not funny in any context. Now he needs to understand why.
That's why GLAAD has offered to arrange a meeting between Morgan and a family whose LGBT son or daughter has been the victim of severe violence because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. We have also offered to arrange a meeting between Morgan and LGBT young people who have been hurt by parental rejection.
Tracy Morgan now has the opportunity to meet people who have been impacted by LGBT violence face-to-face, to hear their stories, and to understand exactly why his rant touched so deep a nerve.