June 13th, 2011
10:24 AM ET
Everyone from fellow comics to his boss, Tina Fey, had some words for Tracy Morgan following his recent rant against gays during a stand up gig: it wasn't funny.
"I'm glad to hear that Tracy apologized for his comments," said a statement from Fey who is the creator of NBC's "30 Rock" on which Morgan co-stars. "Stand-up comics may have the right to 'work out' their material in its ugliest and rawest form in front of an audience, but the violent imagery of Tracy's rant was disturbing to me at a time when homophobic hate crimes continue to be a life-threatening issue for the GLBT Community."
Morgan apologized Friday for his remarks which included saying he would stab his son to death if he ever discovered he was gay.
Friend and fellow funny man Chris Rock initially defended Morgan via Twitter “I dont know about you, but I don't want to live in world where Tracy Morgan can't say foul inappropriate s**t” but then backed off of that stance in a later tweet.
"Tracy Morgan is a tad off we all know that so when Tracy says something I usually don't take it anymore serious than i would a statement from Gary Busey or Flavor Flav," Rock tweeted. "When I first heard the statement I thought it was offensive but it also reminded me of my father saying I'll kill you if you ever bring home a white girl but after reading everything Tracy said. Wow I get it that s**t wasn't called for and I don't support it at all."
Comedienne Wanda Sykes, who is gay, tweeted her anger about Rock initally defending Morgan and later tweeted "This isn't about comedy. What Tracy said is dangerous. We r just trying to protect our kids."
Tony award winning actress Anika Noni Rose told CNN there was no context in which Morgan's comments could be viewed as funny as evidenced by the response.
"I think the judgement has been passed," she said Sunday night on the Tony Awards red carpet. "I haven’t heard one person who was like 'yeah!'"
Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, said in a statement that Morgan's remarks "reflect negatively on both '30 Rock' and NBC."
"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," 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."
Fey echoed that when she said in her statement that "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. The other producers and I pride ourselves on '30 Rock' being a diverse, safe, and fair workplace."
Two "30 Rock" co-stars did sound-off about the incident.
Co-star Alec Baldwin initially tweeted "Oh that Tracy" when the story broke and the following day tweeted "No one's making excuses for Tracy."
Cheyenne Jackson, an openly gay actor who also co-stars on "30 Rock," told Out Magazine in a statement that he was "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," Jackson's statement said. "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."
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