Throughout the day, GLAAD has been in conversation with NBC, urging them to come forward with statements publicly denouncing Tracy Morgan's vitriolic, anti-gay standup rant, and now two of their most prominent figures have done just that.
NBC Chairman of Entertainment Bob Greenblatt and 30 Rock creator Tina Fey have released statements expressing their condemnation of his words, and assurances that NBC is taking this seriously.
Writes Bob Greenblatt:
I speak for NBC and myself personally when I say we do not condone hate or violence of any kind and I am pleased to see Tracy Morgan apologizing for recent homophobic remarks in his standup appearance. We will always recognize an artist’s freedom to express him or herself, but not when reckless things are said no matter what the context. Unfortunately, Tracy’s comments reflect negatively on both “30 Rock” and NBC – two very all-inclusive and diverse organizations – and we have made it clear to him that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.
Tina Fey's statement is undeniably written in her own, distinct voice:
I'm glad to hear that Tracy apologized for his comments. Stand-up comics may have the right to "work out" their material in its ugliest and rawest form in front of an audience, but the violent imagery of Tracy's rant was disturbing to me at a time when homophobic hate crimes continue to be a life-threatening issue for the GLBT Community.
It also doesn't line up with the Tracy Morgan I know, who is not a hateful man and is generally much too sleepy and self-centered to ever hurt another person.
I hope for his sake that Tracy's apology will be accepted as sincere by his gay and lesbian coworkers at "30 Rock", without whom Tracy would not have lines to say, clothes to wear, sets to stand on, scene partners to act with, or a printed-out paycheck from accounting to put in his pocket.
The other producers and I pride ourselves on "30 Rock" being a diverse, safe, and fair workplace.
Morgan himself apologized earlier today for the rant, and GLAAD has called on Morgan to make the effort to understand why his words were so hurtful by meeting with a family whose LGBT son or daughter has been the victim of severe violence, or LGBT youth who have been rejected by their family. Said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios:
NBC has taken an important first step by condemning anti-gay violence, but must now push Morgan to tell his fans that such violence is not only not funny, but unacceptable. We urge him to meet with the Americans at the heart of this epidemic to understand why such words have no place in our culture today.
He echoed this sentiment on his CNN interview earlier today:
GLAAD thanks both Tina Fey and Bob Greenblatt for helping to get out the message that anti-gay bias and violence of the type espoused last week by Tracy Morgan in his standup routine are not to be tolerated. We hope it's a message that Morgan himself will take to heart.