Part of the reason that Tracy Morgan's recent homophobic stand-up act surprised people is because it's so at odds with his 30 Rock employer, Tina Fey, who's long been a vocal gay ally. Many were wondering, then, how Fey would address the incident (her co-star Alec Baldwin simply tweeted "Oh that Tracy"), and the answer came tonight, in a statement Fey issued alongside gay NBC head Robert Greenblatt. Greenblatt said that he is pleased that Morgan has apologized for his remarks and that "we have made it clear to him that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated," but Fey's missive was a little more specific.
I'm glad to hear that Tracy apologized for his comments. 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.
It also 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.
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.
Are Morgan's mea culpa and the statements from Fey and Greenblatt sufficient, or is Morgan's rhetoric too violent to walk back?