Tracy Morgan Apologizes for Homophobic Rant

The comedian says he's "not a hateful person" and is "so, so sorry." And he's in the market for a filter. 

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Tracy Morgan (Getty Images)

Tracy Morgan has spent a good part of today apologizing profusely for an anti-gay rant during his weekend gig at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium that horrified many fans and members of the gay and lesbian community.

An attendee of the show told Entertainment Weekly that Morgan said during his routine 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." He also posted a note detailing the performance on Facebook. (You can read the full note, which contains some NSFW language, here.)

"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. I'm not a hateful person and don't condone any kind of violence against others," Morgan said in a statement, adding, “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."

In an interview with Global Grind, he continued both the apology and the explanation:

I guess the reason I am successful is because I am so unfiltered. And sometimes as a result I say really stupid sh--. The truth is if I had a gay son, I would love him just as much as if he was straight ... I might have to try to love even more because I know of the difficulty that he would have in society. Of all the sicknesses, there is probably none more abusive than homophobia. My heart is committed to giving everyone the same rights that I deserve for myself. I support gays in the military, gay marriage and I am deeply sorry for the comments I made. If any person, especially a gay person, is selling filters, send me a box. I constantly put my foot in my mouth and this time I shoved my whole foot up my ass. I am so, so sorry.

If it's the case that every joke has a little truth in it, then we hope Morgan is just as concerned with why the underlying subject matter of this routine resonated with him in the first place as he is with whether he took it "too far." (It's kind of problematic if you require a "filter" to keep the violence and homophobia whirling around in your head out of your public performances, is it not?)

But to his credit, his is the most thorough and sincere apology for an offensive statement that we've heard from a celebrity in some time. Here's hoping that it was genuine and that during all of his future performances, he holds on to the memory of that foot planted firmly in his mouth.

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