The following is a column recently published by Roland S. Martin:
Why is comedian and “30 Rock” star Tracy Morgan issuing a mea culpa for saying nasty, vicious and vile things during a stand-up routine? Isn’t that par for the course of a comedian?
Oh, I can’t wait to see the hate mail pile into my box for supposedly defending Morgan, who ripped into gays and lesbians during a stand-up act last week in Tennessee, even suggesting in his bit “how he’d stab his son to death if he said he was gay.”
The moment the saw crossed the wires, I naturally cringed. Who in their right mind would say such a thing about his gay son? No person in his or her right mind! Except for a comedian who is accustomed to saying shocking things on stage to get a laugh.
The comedy routine picked up steam in the social media world when Kevin Rogers, who attended the Nashville show, ripped Morgan in a Facebook post entitled, “Why I No Longer Like Tracy Morgan.”
Rogers says the Morgan stand-up routine crossed the line and that Morgan’s demeanor changed.
Once word of the routine spread, it lead to calls for action against Morgan by Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay and lesbian civil rights organization, and even a mea culpa from the theatre where it was held.
In their statement, Fred Sainz, vice president of communications for Human Rights Campaign, said: “Hateful remarks that mock youth suicides and the very real emotional and sometimes physical bullying LGBT kids face on a daily basis have no place in a comedy routine.”
Morgan, clearly sensing a storm brewing, issued an apology.