Tina Fey and NBC chief denounce Tracy Morgan's homophobic rant

Tina-Fey-30-Rock

Image Credit: Ali Goldstein/NBC

NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt and 30 Rock star and producer Tina Fey just issued statements reacting to the controversy that’s erupted over Tracy Morgan’s homophobic rant during a Nashville stand-up performance:

“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,” Greenblatt said, then added, “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.”

Wrote Fey: “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.

Fey continued: “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.”

According to an eye-witness report, Morgan had said in his performance that “the gays needed to quit being p—ies and not be whining about something as insignificant as bullying” and that if his son that was gay “he better come home and talk to him like a man…or he would pull out a knife and stab that little [n—–] to death.”

Morgan apologized for the rant, saying 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.” But the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation issued a statement afterward saying Morgan needs to do more. The organization urged Morgan to “meet with family members who have lost children to anti-gay violence in order to help him understand exactly why his rant touched so deep a nerve.”

Read more:
Chris Rock defends Tracy Morgan; GLAAD fires back
Tracy Morgan issues apology for homophobic rant, says it ‘clearly went too far’

Comments (313 total) Add your comment
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  • LOL

    Good job Tina and Bob.

    • Hermione

      Tina is such a class act. Helluva statement, very well said.

      • Sarah Palin

        I am SO glad my son is a re tard and not gay!! Thank you Je sus.

      • Trigg

        Gaahhhhh

      • Tom Strong

        Why doesn’t Tina Fey have the courage to fire his intolerant, sexist, gay-hating ass?! Tina Fey is no better than Tracy is for being an enabler.

      • @”Sarah Palin”

        Wow. You had to go there. Stay classy, you p.o.s.

      • Alex

        You know what’s not classy- making an obnoxious spectacle of yourself and feeling the need to let everybody in the world know just how gay you are. People, stay classy and act civilized. The right to be treated like others comes with that little catch. Not to much to ask I think. And as for the whining, well I think we can all agree that’s not an appealing quality no matter what you’re sexual orientation is. GLAAD’s complaints against Morgan have just reaffirmed the stereotype they find so offensive. Think how much better the world would be if everybody could just breath, take a joke and move on. If you’re offended by a particular joke, well then change the channel. Pretty simple and rather classy.

    • will short

      Actions speak louder than words. Unless NBC and Fey punish Morgan, then it’s just lip service.

      • Veronica Mars

        will short = Sanctimonious fool.

      • Veronica Mars’s Conscience

        I am currently out of the office on vacation, so VM will be writing a lot of ridiculously aggressive and insulting responses while I’m gone. Sorry to inflict that on everybody, but my job is EXHAUSTING and I need a break now and again…

      • KEVIN

        Both their statements kind of sound like Morgan needs a lot of hope and prayer if he wants to keep his job. Fey’s statement is genius.

      • brock

        Freedom of speach. Comedy act. Sounds like he said he would stab his child for not being brave enough to talk to him. How is that a hate crime reference? People need to get their heads out of there asses and quote complaining about hurt feelings. PC crap is absurd and annoying but suggesting that a comedian should be fired or put through sesetivity purgatory is INSANE. Our society has been dragged down to catering to its moat emotionally unbalanced and immature elements.

      • josephine

        amen brock

      • cattyfan

        Punish someone because you disagree with something they said? How Draconian.

      • Elaine

        Brock: He wasn’t saying if his kid didn’t talk to him he’d stab him. He said he needed to talk to him like a man. In other words, all gay men speak like women, and he better sound masculine. That’s not a hate crime reference, but it’s as good as calling out f****t to gay men everywhere. He’s one of the faces of 30 Rock, and they would be perfectly in their right to fire him.

      • Chaz

        I agree, but at least they are willing to stand up for what they believe in…. Never been a fan of Tracey Morgan’s anyway and wouldn’t miss his character on 30 rock if he disappeared off the show.

      • Fred

        Let’s assess Brock’s sparkling commentary. Speach? There asses? Quote complaining? Sesetivity? Moat? Why don’t you return to the children’s table until you are able to express yourself properly.

      • raingod

        If it had been a white comedian he’d have been fired already. Double standards?

      • Stupid People

        @ Elaine…you’re wrong !! What he was saying was his son better come home and talk to him like a man because MOST gay men will not come out to their fathers and tend to hide it, cower or ignore it. Which is understandable if you have a father who doesn’t understand but I know if my son was gay, I would want him to MAN UP and tell me that he is. You say you’re proud to be gay, then man up and speak to me about it. Don’t sit there scared like a little kid….that’s what he meant. I swear, people can be ignorant

      • MC

        No stupid people, you’re wrong! If you read what was actually said by witnesses, you would know that he started talking in a high pitched voice in a mocking way after saying the “talk like a man” part, then said he would stab his kid insinuating he would do so because his son was flamboyant. You got one thing right though, people can definitely be ignorant, so try and educate yourself next time before joining the conversation.

      • Damien

        @brock Just like almost all of our jobs we represent that company. Tracy Morgan represents NBC and 30 Rock, thus they have all the power in the world to fire him. I’m sure its in the contract that he signs.

      • mark

        @Stupid People
        Stop. Saying the word “Man up” is already offensive enough. People may act however they want to. Don’t tell them what is expected of them just because they have a different chromosome. It’s like saying white people and black people should behave certain ways. No. Just no.

    • Jane Freud

      Wow, women’s groups should get together now and listen to Tracy Morgan’s various appearances on Howard Stern talking about them. Much worse than the gay bits in my opinion, lol

      • John

        As of 2009, if you are gay in America and come out before you are 18 you have a 1 in 4 chance of getting kicked out of your home. That doesn’t include the number who aren’t and face abuse. Over 40% of the our nation’s homeless kids are LGBT. It’s not about manning up, it’s about survival.

      • John

        Sorry, meant to reply further up, nt to this coment

      • Ayers

        Jane’s got a point. Our society is over-protective of the LGBTQ community but where are NBC’s and Tina’s statements when Morgan degrades women in the name of comedy?

      • Elbert Rake

        John, you really need to see it from the parent’s perspective. I caught one of my boys rolling around on the kitchen floor with our neighbor Tom. It was shocking. I immediately turned the sprayer from the sink on them, and kicked them both out of the house. I didn’t let him back in the house for three days. Nevertheless, I caught him engaging in the same shocking activities. So, I cut the food I provided him by half. Still no luck … same behavior. It wasn’t until I took away his scratching post that he got the message.

      • Damien

        @Ayers I wouldn’t say society is over-protective of the LGBT community…we need to protect every group that is discriminated against. Plus, violence against the LGBT community greatly outnumbers violence towards women when it comes to hate crimes.

        @Elbert you’re an idiot.

  • Entertainment2u-Twitter

    I love Tina! I hate Tracy now.

    • Tracy Morgan

      Awww, if you can take d*ck you can take a joke…

      • Kevin B

        Obvious troll is obvious

      • Veronica Mars

        Unfunny unoriginal Kevin is unfunny and unoriginal.

        As always.

      • World

        Veronica Mars was witty, heartfelt, and entertaining. You ma’am are no Veronica Mars.

    • jake

      What BS his “apology” is. He obviously has this hate deep inside him, and hes just sorry he’s getting flack for it. He has a long history of anti-gay remarks. Being gay is not a choice.

      • josephine

        IT IS to a choice! anyone who says its not is just rationalizing their own guilt. and why theyre guilty, who knows? just be a human and deal with any consequences your actions cause instead of trying to put blame on other people

      • Elaine

        Josephine: Have you come to the future from the 1950s. It’s not a choice. Would you choose to be a lesbian? Can you think of anything that would make you date a woman? Attraction is attraction, love is love. If you’re not attracted to the opposite sex, nothing should make you force yourself to live a lie.

      • ML

        You might choose to experiment and follow through on some same sex attractions but ultimately you don’t choose who you fall in love with, there’s no choice when it comes to true love.

      • David

        Josephine, put down the can of beer, put out your Lucky Strike and take your face out of your bible. Try reading what the medical and psychological experts say. It is NOT a choice. I did not wake up one morning and decide “hmmm..today I will become gay so that bigots like Josephine can tell me that I’m just ashamed of my actions.

        I’m not ashamed to be gay. But you should be ashamed for being ignorant and bigoted.

      • Enor

        Not a Choice… interesting. Any actual proof to back that up? No? Just wondering.

      • Friday

        OK, so lets say it’s not a choice. So what? Does that mean people who choose to be gay should be bullied, beaten or killed?
        This ‘choice’ garbage is nonsense. No, its not a choice but that’s not what makes the bigotry wrong.

      • Jay

        Josephine, if “it is to [sic] a choice,” then, since I presume you’re straight (since no gay man or lesbian would make such a ridiculous claim), let’s see you choose to be gay and have sex with a woman to prove to us that you’re right. We’re waiting.

  • karen

    Just when I think I can’t possibly love Tina Fey more, she does something even more awesome.

    • charlotte

      No kidding. She perfectly encapsulated a threat and an illustration about how many LGBT people help Tracy Morgan have a job.

    • Zane

      Agreed. Tina Fey’s response was brilliant and heartfelt. I have always admired her talent, and now I admire her humanity.

      • AcaseofGeo

        I’ve never really cared for Tina Fey but yeah she did good here. It would’ve been better if she hadn’t thrown in all that praise for what Morgan is REALLY LIKE. If he was really as great as Fey says he is, he never would’ve said such hate-mongering things. She basically hedged her condemnation by qualifying his “good” points = COP OUT.

      • AcaseofGeo

        Well I re-read her comments and she didn’t use the word “great” but she did nonetheless use qualifiers in her condemnation.

      • thin

        Go back and hit it a third time. There’s pretty much nothing in there that you can call “praise.” The best it gets is “not hateful,” which is pretty poor praise. Unless you consider being called sleepy and self-centered to be terms of praise. I certainly don’t.

    • Lotso

      What was so AWESOME that she did? Put on her damage control producer hat? You have a pretty low bar for something being “awesome.”

      • Christine

        Not WHAT she did, but HOW she did it. It might have been a given that she would defend the LGBT community, but she went further to point out how interwoven the gays are in Tracy Morgan’s life (making his hateful speech against them absurd) and does so in a way that is clever, funny and thoughtful. She’s a class act, that Tina Fey.

      • mary

        I agree – there’s nothing awesome about it. It’s a timid-don’t-rock-the-boat response. Remind me not to stand next to Tina Fey when someone comes at me with a knife. “oh my, brutal attacker, tsk tsk now, oh i know you’re such a nice person really– oops, you gotta a little blood on me.”

      • Veronica Mars

        Lotso = whiny loser who will shreik and complain regardless of what’s happening. It’s her negative personality.

      • NewsToYou

        Mary–you do realize Tina fey has been attacked by knife, right? Perhaps TM should be fired. I certainly wouldn’t miss his presence on 30 Rock, a show I enjoy. But I think Tina Fey is being real here. And I think the implication is, if those coworkers do not accept his apology, he could be gone.

      • mary

        newstoyou, No, i didn’t know, it IS news to me. Poor Tina Fey, how awful. I’m awfully sorry that I phrased my comment as I did. I wonder why she didn’t react more strongly to someone who used that imagery? Bottom line, her response was too mealymouthed.

    • Summer

      THIS

  • JakeH

    That rant read insanely hateful, violent, ignorant, inhuman, etc. I just don’t see how it was comedy, and I don’t see how he could undue this. It’s his Kramer moment, with much more disturbing language.

    PS: Some people were suggesting that these “jokes” fit in with his “women are beautiful” (and how working women are destroying our culture) theme before it … but I wonder how that helps? If I made some joke about dragging black guys behind my car until their bones grind for hitting on a White girl, but then prefaced it on how better looking White people are, does that make it any more justified or comedic?

    • Reality Check

      Wow, Jake. Methinks you’ve pondered the prospect once or twice.

      • bma

        He’s using an example of a real event. He didn’t ponder or make that scenario up. Google James Byrd.

    • Veronica Mars

      STFU Jake. We’re in the apology stages now.

    • Lauren

      For your info A$$HOLE some prick in Phoenix DID make a joke about James Byrd I certainly don’t remember the outrage from gay people for that!!

  • Reality Check

    What about his sexist rant?

    • whatevs

      No one cares about women, apparently.

      • DREEN77

        Maybe you lack reading comprehension. He didn’t talk about stabbing women or his own daughter for being female. There’s more, that’s just a sample of what he said of gay people; does not equate “sexist jokes”.

      • whatevs

        You’re right, I’m sure if he had said that gays were the downfall of society and that he enjoys it when they choke during oral sex, it would’ve been ok because there’s no stabbing.

        You can make your point without trying to be condescending. It only works when you’re right.

  • j c

    Just when I think I can’t possibly dislike Tina Fey more, she does something even more annoying and unfunny. (Hard to believe, I know)

    • stella

      yeah, it is so annoying when people don’t send out their publicists to deal with the matter and write a sincere, long statement individually.

    • Woot

      Tina is probably crying over her vast number of emmys because of your comment.

  • Paul

    Not good enough Tina. You have to fire him or expect this albatross to hang on your neck a very long time. Dump him now before he tarnishes you anymore. Love your show and your book but this cannot be allowed to stand. Of course if you want us left leaning fans to abbandon you keep this hateful fool.

    • Tammy

      I totally agree! 0 tollerance means he ought to be out of there. Good bye 30 Rock. I will miss you.

      • Brenda

        Have to agree,He has always been the one bad actor on this show.Love Tina Fey&the rest of the cast.Tracy is just NASTY and I will not watch this or any other show that he appears on.

    • dentonitis

      Paul, I don’t believe that you’ve actually read her book. Because if you had, you’d remember the pedophile joke she told as an example of a “rough joke” in her book, and you wouldn’t be so sanctimonious about her reaction to a joke one of her cast members made. Or did you actually “love” the pedophile joke?

      • Wha’ever

        I don’t know what Tina’s pedo-joke was, but I’m sure it wasn’t as hateful as Tracy’s. I mean you can make gay jokes without implying they should die. I believe reading her joke it would have been obvious that it was indeed a joke. When you read Tracy’s one, it doesn’t look like a joke.

      • Paul

        Got the book right her in front of me (from the public library!), and I wiil finish on the airplane Saturday. I will report back to you. So ninner ninner to you!

      • dentonitis

        Pedo and a little boy go into the woods, boy says, “It’s scary in here.” Pedo says, “Tell me about it–I have to go back out by myself.” I believe the implication is in fact that the boy will die.

    • Veronica Mars

      RELAX GAY PAUL. She’s SUPPORTS the cause wholeheartedly!
      Now pound sand, boy.

  • TorontoTom

    I’m glad that both Fey and Greenblatt stepped up and addressed the the truly offensive nonsense spewed by Morgan. I hope that some of the haters that posted in the previous article on EW read their comments and realize that HATE IS HATE – doesn’t matter whether you like or dislike the target, there is no up-side to hate, no place for it in a civilized society.

  • Nick

    LAME. I can’t understand how NBC hasn’t immediately and irrevocably dismissed him. I’d like Tina to explain her excuse to my gay son, who is a fan of the show. Shameful.

    • csilla

      Agreed. 100%

      • DREEN77

        Me too. I can’t even look at him. Bye-bye 30 Rock, for me at least.

      • Veronica Mars

        Drama queen. You are worse than him.
        FAR WORSE.

      • thin

        Not worse, just annoying in a different way.

    • anna

      You expect Tina Fey to call up your son and explain the actions of her co-worker? Get over yourself.

    • Elwood

      It’s early, guys. Morgan may still get fired. Look how long it took before Sheen got fired.

    • Anthony

      I’m gay and perfectly fine with Tina’s statement. People say horrible things all the time… including my own brothers. With all the ignorance regarding the issue still in the world, it’s important we educate people not go to war with them.

      • @ Anthony

        Thank you !! Just like there are black jokes, Jew jokes, there are gay jokes….They may go too far but ignorance is STILL a huge part of this planet (there are places to this day that still wont let blacks sit at the counter, or at least they try). Education is the key, not a HOLY WAR for the cause

      • Linda

        Perfectly said, Anthony.

      • Dave

        Well said Anthony. Going to war with people over the issues wont help, and likely only hurt the cause of equality. Education is the best and correct path.

  • Sam J

    Fey even makes light the situation by saying the Tracy she knows is ” generally much too sleepy and self-centered to ever hurt another person.” Tracy wasn’t threatening anybody, just making an a$$ out of himself.

    • Hermione

      I agree. What JT said was idiotic, foolish, hateful and ignorant. But I think he is much too dumb to ever construct anything that would be actually violent. He’s just a stab-up comic who went too far; though I think him being let go from 30 Rock would be appropriate. I’ll continue to watch either way, but as a public figure/celeb, he has to know that the things he says have consequences, and affect his coworkers. Boy are the news panels going to have a field day with this.

      • Hermione

        Wow, wrote that on my phone, auto-correct, that was supposed to say *stand-up*.

  • Tracy Jackson

    I will always be a fan of Tina Fey because she is an amazing writer and producer as well as actress. Although I have been one of 30 Rock’s biggest fans (having received Season DVDs for Christmas and always catching up on Hulu when I can), I can no longer watch 30 Rock because it will never be the same again. All I can think about are the remarks Tracy made and picturing him on that stage in Nashville acting like a washed out Michael Richards. The show for me has lost its creative humor and witty dialogues, so therefor I’m no longer a devoted fan. I hope Tina chooses to make a new show with hilarious comedians such as Alec Baldwin, Jack McBrayer, Jane Krakowski and other surprise celebrity guest appearances. Thanks Tina for your funny words and sincere regrets, you have made me smile once more. Love, Tracy

    • Badlands

      Yeah, you’re one hell of a Superfan. You do eveything except watch the show on a regular basis or spend your own money on the DVDs. I’m sure they’ll be so worried about losing you that they’ll takenyour comments to heart immediately.

  • Dr. John Gotwalt

    Really encouraging for teenagers who think they might be gay but have no one to talk it over with. A real stand-up role model for fathers, too. I don’t ever want to see his face again. Whaddup wit dat indeed.

    • Veronica Mars

      Yeah, he was always such a good role model for teens prior to that.
      FOOL!
      Do you OWN parenting. Don’t expect it from comedians.

      • Hahaha

        Score goes to Ms. Mars

    • Mike

      I agree with John.

      • thin

        And I agree with Veronica. If Tracy Jordan was EVER anyone’s role model, their parents were failing at their job already.

  • TV IS YOUR GOD

    Oh, c’mon, these are showbiz people leading their shallow, meaningless, self-centered lives. Who cares what they say? All they want is attention. Why should we let these clowns hog the limelight all the time? I suggest everybody turn off their TV sets and keep them off. Then maybe your brains will turn back on.

    • Linney

      Yes, because ranting all over the Internet is SO much better.

      • TV IS YOUR GOD

        The Internet is interactive. It’s not a one way street. People can communicate instead of having to just sit there and listen to what other people say. And guess what? People have a lot to say.

  • Jacques James

    STOP the sugar coating!!! He advocated hatred and death for being Gay!!!
    Lisa Lampanelli, Brad Garrett, and other resposible comedians make gay jokes, but have never (to my knowledge) advocated hatred or death!! People need
    to stop and realize, it’s NOT that He made Gay jokes, it’s the evil and hatred behind the jokes!
    Everyone “is” entitled to
    their own opinion and have the freedom to say what they want in their “artistry”.
    So why can no one Afro-American use the “N” word or say “nappy” without being labeled a racist??! Why can one not laugh at the gassing of thousands of Jews and say in their comedy routine the Holocust never happened and praise Hitler?!?!
    Same difference!!! It’s ugly and NOT acceptable! As a public figure, He and all public figures have a responsiblity to conduct themselves in a respectable manner!!
    AGAIN… It’s NOT that He mad Gay jokes, it’s that He advocated death for being Gay!

    • Motley

      He didnt say gays should be met with violence what he said was if HIS SON came to him speaking in a feminine manner he would stab HIM, not because he was gay but because he is still a MAN-something that gay males seem to forget. If you’re not TRANSGENDERED there is no excuse for the extra feminine antics.

      • Uh huh

        …yeah, because killing your own son for “feminine antics” is MUCH more reasonable.

      • Z

        Wow that is the dumbest comment in defense of Tracy Morgan I’ve read so far…and there have been some really, really dumb comments…

      • Kirkland

        Exactly. He meant that he would want his son to act like a man, even if he’s gay, not cry over be bullying. He used the n-word. I hear the n-word in plenty of dramas on tv and movies. I’m always told that’s just how people talk and get over it. Maybe more black movies need to use the c-word and I don’t hear many comedians joke about being stringy-headed.

      • Badlands

        It’s not a good defensefor what was said but it’s a good point nonetheless.

    • Veronica Mars

      Jacques, you are consumed with anger and hate. Get help.
      He does NOT ADVOCATE it. He made a stupid unfuuny joke in a COMEDY CLUB.
      If you want to go into hysterics, that’s on YOU.
      You’re shrill reaction just creates backlash against your supposed cause.
      Do us all a favor and take your sanctimony and ignorance elsewhere.
      You are sickening.

  • Dallasfan

    What a pathetic statement. I wish there was more courage from NBC and Ms. Fey regarding this manner. To thank his publicist for issuing a statement so Mr. Morgan can keep his NBC paycheck is pitiful. NBC and Tina Fey failed on all counts.

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