It’s like the Michael Richards incident all over again. Lovable kook shows shows a nastier side of his sensibility and suddenly puts a dark cloud over a beloved television institution. At least with Richards’ 2006 debacle involving racist remarks, Seinfeld had wrapped its original run and was dwelling in syndication-land.
Even though Tracy Morgan has apologized for his June 3 remarks during a Nashville performance (specifically, his claim that he’d stab his son if the child came out as gay), I think it will be hard for me to watch 30 Rock any longer in the same spirit of absurd fun.
And I’m not sure Morgan’s apology will suffice for me (or a lot of other viewers) either. I’d like to believe Tina Fey’s statement to TMZ that his rant “doesn’t line up with the Tracy Morgan I know, who is not a hateful man and is generally much too sleepy and self-centered to ever hurt another person.”
Fey added: “”I hope for his sake that Tracy’s apology will be accepted as sincere by his gay and lesbian coworkers 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.”
I, for one, would like to hear what Morgan’s openly gay 30 Rock cast mate Cheyenne Jackson has to say on the matter.
6/13 UPDATE: According to The Huffington Post, Cheyenne Jackson has issued the following statement to Out magazine: “I am disgusted and appalled by Tracy Morgan’s homophobic rant. The devastating repercussions of hate-filled language manifest in very real ways for today’s LGBTQ youth. I’ve known Tracy for two years, spent many long hours with him on set, and I want to believe that this behavior is not at the core of who he is. I’m incredibly disappointed by his actions, and hope that his apology is sincere.”