Equal opportunity offender?
After a tremendous public outcry, Tracy Morgan has apologized for violent, anti-gay jokes he made during a stand-up routine in Nashville on June 3.
But Christy Frank, a Morgan fan who was at the show, tells Us Weekly that the 30 Rock star's rant covered broad territory.
"I definitely was uncomfortable when he started going off," Frank said. "He was being offensive to a lot of different groups, not just gay people."
During his bit, Morgan joked that he'd stab his son if he ever said he was gay.
"He also started going off against the anti-bullying campaign – that's a really serious issue," Frank said. "He started going off on anti-bullying campaigns saying they were BS and they needed to stop being chickens about everything. He said [GLBT people] should be able to stand up for themselves."
Many audience members "got up and left," Frank confirmed. "No one was booing him. Everyone was laughing, but you could tell they were uncomfortable."
"It was a little bit nuts. Definitely poor judgment on his part…It was way more offensive and explicit than I was expecting."
In his public apology, Morgan, 42, said, "I'm not a hateful person and don't condone any kind of violence against others…even in a comedy club this clearly went too far and was not funny in any context."
But many groups charge that Morgan's apology isn't enough. Says Jody Huckaby, Executive Director of PFLAG Nation: "At a time when bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth is at an all-time high – when kids are being assaulted, are dying – to joke about committing violence against a child is outrageous and reprehensible. As a celebrity, Mr. Morgan needs to understand that his words have power."
Adds GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios: "Tracy Morgan must not only apologize, but assure us that this won't happen again and send a clear message to Americans that anti-gay violence is no joke."
GLAAD has offered to arrange meetings between Morgan and families who have lost children to anti-gay violence.
"If Tracy Morgan is sincere, he should take us up on meeting these families who have lost loved ones to the type of violence that he is mocking," Barrios said. "Perhaps by hearing their stories, he will learn that while we all love humor, this is no laughing matter."
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