Actor Tracy Morgan has apologized for telling an audience in Nashville, Tenn., that if his son were gay, he would “pull out a knife and stab” him.
The former “Saturday Night Live” comedian and “30 Rock” actor apologized to his gay and lesbian fans for what he called “my choice of words” during his June 3 appearance at the Ryman Auditorium.
A Facebook account posted by an audience member said Morgan’s stand-up performance was full of homophobic references. The Ryman issued its own apology afterward for Morgan’s behavior.
Morgan’s outbursts triggered heated comment on Twitter, making him a “trending” topic Thursday and Friday.
Meanwhile, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation called on Morgan to remove anti-gay remarks from his show “and send a strong message that anti-gay violence is not something to joke about.”
The Human Rights Campaign said apologizing wasn’t enough. The gay civil rights organization said Morgan “now has a responsibility to make amends for his horribly hurtful and dangerous ‘comedy’ routine.”
In his statement, Morgan, who has three sons, denied being a hateful person and acknowledged that “even in a comedy club” what he said went too far “and was not funny in any context.”
“30 Rock” producer and star Tina Fey weighed in on the controversy. “I hope for his sake that Tracy’s apology will be accepted as sincere by his gay and lesbian co-workers 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,” she said.