Hurtful, hateful and homophobic
Comedian and 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan is undeniably a homophobe and should face consequences for it.
I’m referring, of course, to Morgan’s recent rant on stage in which he stated that homosexuality is a choice, that gays should not be upset about bullying (which he called trivial) and that he would kill his own son if he acted gay.
First of all, Morgan’s rant was homophobic. It doesn’t matter if he was onstage or offstage. When the audience stops laughing and begins squirming with discomfort, it’s no longer edgy comedy.
Now, obviously all comedians have some degree of artistic licence and political correctness and comedy definitely do not mix. However, it was obvious from Morgan’s loss of composure that this was no longer part of his bit.
To actually say that you will “stab that little n*er to death” about your own son undeniably crosses the line from taboo comedy to violence and hate.
I was one of the many eagerly awaiting Tina Fey’s response to the situation, as Fey is a well-known activist for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community. In her June 10 statement, Fey said all — or most — of the right things. She acknowledged the extensive team at NBC and 30 Rock who happen to be part of the gay community, whom Morgan owes a great deal of his success to.
She also acknowledged the horrible words Morgan chose to use but, in doing so, quickly accompanied this shaming with a half-assed defence of Morgan’s character, saying that this was so out-of-character for him.
Her defence of his character is meaningless and an extra slap in the face to the gay community, who consistently face hateful remarks like Morgan’s.
Additionally, her statement means absolutely nothing since Morgan will not be fired from 30 Rock.
Similar rants in the past have been “career killers” for other celebrities — rightfully so.
In 2006, former Seinfeld star Michael Richards came under heavy fire for a racist rant onstage where he lashed out at two black audience members. Like Morgan, Richards was seen losing his composure, crossing the line from comedy to frightening and violent imagery.
The difference was that Richards was so publicly shamed that he was forced to retire from stand-up several months after the incident. His career has been completely off the map since then.
Even more dramatic was Mel Gibson’s fall from grace. In 2006, Gibson went on an anti-Semitic rant while being arrested for driving under the influence. Despite the commercial success of 2004’s The Passion of the Christ, Gibson has not seen any form of success since then.
Gibson was even dropped from The Hangover Part II, which he was supposed to make a brief appearance in.
The move could have gained him some ironic street-cred a la Mike Tyson but cast and crew took a stand and objected to working with Gibson — something the 30 Rock team should be doing.
No doubt Fey’s words were well chosen. It was smart to remind the public that 30 Rock and NBC employ a large number of gay individuals and are not afraid to let people know.
However, Fey’s words chalk up to nothing in the end, since we know that Tracy Morgan’s paychecks are still coming to him at $75,000 per episode.
Now, with the actor revealing his true colours, would be the perfect time for NBC to set an example and show that they won’t tolerate such behaviour.
Instead, they let their least valuable player continue to slip by, while simultaneously sending the message that it’s okay to say violent homophobic slurs as long as you issue a half-assed apology.
I would like to say that I am making a stand and will no longer continue to watch 30 Rock, but I already swore off the show when it lost its edge a little over a year ago.
However, if anyone else wants to make a stand, I’d highly recommend not giving the show your time and attention.