Tracy Morgan Returns to Nashville to Apologize (Video)

11:53 AM PST 06/21/2011 by THR staff
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Tracy Morgan

"I want to apologize to my friends and my family and my fans and everyone in every community who were offended with this," the "30 Rock" star says of anti-gay remarks he made during a concert earlier this month.

After making anti-gay remarks during a June 3 comedy show in Nashville, 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan returned Tuesday to the Tennessee city and issued an apology.

"I apologize to ... the people that were at the show," Morgan said. "I want to apologize to my friends and my family and my fans and everyone in every community who were offended with this. ... I don't have a hateful bone in my body. I don't believe that anyone should be bullied or just made to feel bad about who they are. ... I don't care who you love, same-sex or not, as long as you have the ability to love."

In addition, Morgan met with Elke Kennedy, founder of Sean's Last Wish. Kennedy's son Sean was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime. Morgan had said that he would be returning to Nashville to apologize.

Last Friday, Morgan met with youth from the Ali Forney Center in New York City, the largest organization helping homeless LGBT.

"As a fellow comedian and actor, I applaud Tracy Morgan for his efforts in speaking out against anti-gay rhetoric, which unfortunately is still regularly expressed in some stand-up comedy acts. The Screen Actors Guild National LGBT Actors Committee appreciates Tracy's efforts to both learn from this experience and use this as a teachable moment. We fully support Tracy's message that discrimination has no place in today's society regardless of where it is practiced," said Jason Stuart, co-chair, Screen Actors Guild National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Actors Committee.

Morgan will also participate in GLAAD's upcoming "Amplify Your Voice" PSA campaign. Others participating include Russell Simmons, Al Sharpton, Kristin Chenoweth, Chaz Bono, Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Vinna Guadagnino and Tori Spelling.

Morgan is not taking the uproar over his anti-gay remarks lightly: “Of all the sicknesses, there is probably none more abusive than homophobia,” Morgan said in an interview with Russell Simmons on Russell Simons Presents Def Comedy Jam, which was posted by Global Grind on June 13. “My heart is committed to giving everyone the same rights that I deserve for myself.”

Two weeks ago, GLAAD, Truth Wins Out and several others pushed Morgan to apologize and speak out against the anti-LGBT violence after he made questionable remarks during one of his shows. During the show, Morgan said that if "his son were gay ... he would pull out a knife and stab" him.

Days after the show took place, Morgan issued an apology for his statements. "I want to apologize to my fans and the gay & lesbian community for my choice of words at my recent stand-up act in Nashville," he said the morning of June 10. "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."

Morgan's comments prompted NBC, 30 Rock creator Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Chris Rock, co-star Cheyenne Jackson and others to react.

NBC's Bob Greenblatt said, "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. 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."

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