Alec Baldwin | Tina Fey | Tracy Morgan

30 Rock Co-Stars, NBC React To Tracy Morgan Controversy

Fellow 30 Rock star Tina Fey expressed her disapproval of Tracy Morgan's now infamous homophobic rant, which she called "disturbing." She also comes to his defense saying that he is not hateful. In his apology yesterday, Morgan also stressed that he was not "hateful." Her statement to TMZ:

Tinatracey "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."

Another 30 Rock co-star, Alec Baldwin, reacted to the controversy. He tweeted: "No one's making excuses for Tracy."

Openly gay NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt issued this statement:

"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.  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.  Unfortunately, Tracy's comments reflect negatively on both "30 Rock" and NBC - two very all-inclusive and diverse organizations - and we have made it clear to him that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated."

Entertainment Weekly reports that fellow comic Chris Rock defended Morgan's rant: “I dont know about you, but I dont want to live in world where Tracy Morgan cant say foul inappropriate s—.” GLAAD tweeted back: “Language about stabbing kids for being gay isn’t ‘foul.’ It’s dangerous.”

The Human Rights Campaign believes Morgan should do more than just apologize: “Tracy Morgan exercised extremely poor judgment and he did the right thing by apologizing. But that’s just not enough. He’s a role model and Morgan now has a responsibility to make amends for his horribly hurtful and dangerous ‘comedy’ routine. He also needs to go further than his apology and correct the record: no one should feel ashamed because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and they should definitely not become a victim of violence. Words have consequences and Morgan should be held to a higher standard. Until he does something meaningful, his brand will remain tarnished.”

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Comments

  1. Child Abuse is not funny.
    Homophobia is not funny.
    And Tracy Morgan is really NOT funny.

    And if Tina Fey wants to have any sort of career after this (since her fan base is intelligent, and very gay) she better fire Tracy. It's bad enough with having that homophobe sherri shepherd on occasionally, but this was too much. Unacceptable. It reflects poorly on her, and honestly none of her other gay employees should be made to deal with someone who says this kind of BS. Apology schmoo schmology.

    And I agree with "T", if his "joke" (which it isnt) was something more like.... If my son came home with a white girlfriend I'd stab him/her... or if my son came home jewish I'd stab him......

    I think there would be an even bigger outcry, clearly.

    Posted by: Jnyca | Jun 11, 2011 1:20:20 PM


  2. I think Fey's comment is spot on because it's true but not about him not being a hateful person because the dude us hateful.

    Thing is, they want to keep him n the show.

    Posted by: Rowan | Jun 11, 2011 1:26:10 PM


  3. I honestly thought her comment was perfect. What you want her to do..drag him out in the middle of the street and start stoning him? I would like her to let Tracy go from the show. Thats about it. But i'm not going to condemn her for her stance on it. Clearly, she isn't for gay violence. Tracy is. Let's keep focus.

    Posted by: angela | Jun 11, 2011 1:33:29 PM


  4. He just woke up in a world where gay people don't take this sort of abuse anymore. Have his eyes opened? It would be great if he became a spokesperson for ending abuse against gays, kids, etc.
    There are a lot of people who identify with him, and if he becomes sensitized to these issues, he would be doing a service to himself and others. He needs to come out of his narrow world view, and recognize that he was feeding the flames of a fire he didn't start, and begin to put it out. He should read all these comments, google himself and see what gay people think. Time to grow your brain, Mr. Morgan.

    Posted by: kodiak | Jun 11, 2011 1:44:21 PM


  5. I love 30 Rock and Tina Fey. But I'm not sure I'll be able to watch the show any more if Tracy Morgan's still in it. It'll just leave a nasty taste. I'm not gonna actively boycott or campaign against it, but I'll find it hard to tune in any more. This whole thing just makes me feel sad. Sad to read all the anger on these threads. Sad that violence happens towards gay people. Sad that Morgan doesn't get it.

    Posted by: Tangina The Psychic | Jun 11, 2011 1:44:23 PM


  6. What would the legal grounds be for termination from NBC?

    Posted by: DG | Jun 11, 2011 2:05:08 PM


  7. I think these comments point to the fact that gay people are no longer going to tolerate attacks on ourselves anymore...from not from a politician, the pope, or in this case, a comedian. We finally love ourselves enough to say stop and that's enough. And most of society is siding with us, too. We have reached a tipping point.

    Posted by: JoeInSF | Jun 11, 2011 2:22:26 PM


  8. I think there is censorhip, here

    Posted by: OhpleaseMike | Jun 11, 2011 2:52:42 PM


  9. I think the message is clear: Don't be sorry, Tracy Morgan. Be better. I don't think excluding or shunning Morgan is the answer, but calling him into question, asking him to recognize the queerness of his own community, and reminding him that one ought to respect his own community if he expects to share in it. I think his peers at 30 Rockefeller Place have taken the appropriate loving action to say, "You are better than that, Tracy, and ought to know better." Chris Rock, free speech does not create victims. Homophobia is an illness, and I hope you find help. It sounds like Morgan has true friends who wish to help him be his better self. That is love, and that is how to beat hate and the ignorance and fear from which is is born.

    Posted by: Andrew Clemmer | Jun 11, 2011 3:00:57 PM


  10. If the best a person can come up with to defend her dear friend who she knows well is to say he's "sleep and self-centered," that is no defense at all. Fire him. I no longer watch Mel or Kramer or winning! This one joins that list. I've emailed NBC.

    Posted by: lewlew | Jun 11, 2011 3:16:17 PM


  11. I never understood why Morgan was hired for 30 Rock. His character is awful, and firing him would provide space for an actor-comedian with actual talent.

    They rarely show the actual show (TGS) on 30 Rock, but the premise is that Morgan is TGS's main draw, much to the disdain of other actors and the writers. Even for a satirical show, that's inane. He simply isn't funny, and now he's proven that he's incredibly offensive. TGS is rarely shown, so losing Morgan would hardly damage 30 Rock.

    I hate to say it, but it seems like NBC is doing a calculus of who they're more worried about offending: the black audience who would be angry if Morgan were fired (see: Chris Rock's lame rationale) or the gay audience who doesn't want to watch an entertainer who says they're better off dead. My guess is that the gays will lose even though this has NOTHING to do with race. I wonder what kind of contract Morgan has.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 11, 2011 3:41:50 PM


  12. Yeah, I actually thought Tina Fey's response to be rather damning of Tracy, in her usual, dry way. Don't see what all the fuss is. Maybe the lynch mob would prefer she call for his severed head on a plate and presented to her, Salome-style.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Jun 11, 2011 3:58:49 PM


  13. Good lord, did every one of you fail the reading comprehension section of the SATs?

    Ms. Fey's statement EVISCERATED Morgan. She called him a lazy, self absorbed hack who would be out of a job if not for the gays and lesbians working behind the scenes. For all intents and purposes, she told him that he needs to beg for forgiveness or he's not coming back. The mention of his paycheck made that clear.

    Posted by: Richard Farias | Jun 11, 2011 4:37:46 PM


  14. @ Gregoire: If these maroons couldn't understand Tina Fey's statement, I can pretty much guarantee you that they wouldn't understand the reference to Salome.

    Posted by: Richard Farias | Jun 11, 2011 4:40:52 PM


  15. MASSIVE FAIL FOR TINA FEY.

    And it appears that tolerating the disgusting behavior is exactly what Uncle Tom Bob Greenblatt is doing.

    Posted by: Skep | Jun 11, 2011 4:45:27 PM


  16. Its amazing how many people here have such a good understanding of entertainment law and think Fey or NBC could fire Morgan at-will for comments he made outside the 30 Rock environment.

    Firing Morgan would probably end 30 Rock, considering Baldwin is on his way out already, and all those gay and lesbian colleagues would subsequently be unemployed, but, hey, a POINT WOULD BE MADE. Fey has commented numerous times about the sense of responsibility she feels for the 200 people who are employed by 30 Rock.

    Morgan's comments were vile, but I don't blame Fey for being both disgusted and refusing to destroy her friend, show and colleagues' livelihoods.

    Posted by: Clif3012 | Jun 11, 2011 4:52:31 PM


  17. Does anyone remember what Suzanne Sommers did as executive producer of her show "Step By Step" when she learned that her co-star, Sasha Mitchell, was beating his girlfriend? She fired him. She did not go on ET and talk about what a good person he really was, deep down.

    And while I do not advocate that Tracy Morgan's career be forever destroyed, necessarily, that is up to him, he should be fired from the show. What he did went way beyond what Kobe, and others athletes do in calling someone a Fa**ot. This was literally hate speech that acted to incite people in the audience against LGBT people.

    Tina Fey could take a page from the classy Suzanne Sommers on dealing with violent people.

    Posted by: Ricco | Jun 11, 2011 5:28:57 PM


  18. I am sure that any contract NBC had Morgan sign wouldn't allow him to take down the careers of so many people. I'm sure they have the right to fire a guy for advocating stabbing his own child for being gay. It will be very easy for me to cut Morgan and Tina Fey out of my life and I say this as someone who bought her autobiography twice (one for myself and another as a gift) and loves her dearly. There are just too many other funny comediennes to turn to as a replacement for one who will not fire someone like Morgan when they have the power to do so. It's time to put and end to violence against gay youth goddamnit!

    Posted by: Jersey | Jun 11, 2011 6:40:03 PM


  19. Tracy Morgan can say whatever he wants. Nobody is stopping him. However, we have a right to complain about it. Free speech works both ways.

    As for Tina Fey, she's just another liberal who'll defend another liberal. They always stick together. They will hurt and mock others - even through the use of prejudice - but they will get awfully precious if somebody criticizes them.

    Posted by: adam | Jun 11, 2011 6:49:03 PM


  20. NBC and 30 Rock should fire his ass.

    Posted by: Jim C | Jun 11, 2011 7:20:51 PM


  21. Apparently this is not Tracy's first time he ranted his homophobic and hateful opinion in his "comedy" act:

    http://instinctmagazine.com/bl...

    "After an alleged barrage of lewd jokes and simulations—including jabs at the First Family and anti-gay rhetoric (Tracy reportedly called homosexuality a “choice”)—hordes of audience members reportedly walked out of the auditorium in disgust. "

    That was in 2009.

    Posted by: FunMe | Jun 11, 2011 7:26:39 PM


  22. Hm. More proof that Chris Rick is full of sh

    Posted by: Danny | Jun 11, 2011 8:39:10 PM


  23. Andy, if you had chosen an image from 30 Rock of Liz Lemon yelling at Tracy Morgan, as opposed to the one of the two of them embracing and smiling, would some of your readers/commenters have reacted differently to her statement?

    Posted by: shanesoho | Jun 11, 2011 8:49:25 PM


  24. I'm sorry Chris Rock, put yourself in the same situation several years ago. If someone who was born a certain way, whether African American, Gay or both was being attacked for that alone, why should we just let it go as a joke? It is NOT called foul its called HATE and that is not funny, especially during people committing suicide for that point alone.

    I will no longer support Tracy Morgan or Chris Rock.

    Being a minority and gay, which I happened to be attacked personally today at a store for my "gay voice" I WILL NOT LET SOMEONE GET AWAY WITH ANYTHING ANYMORE!

    I'm done, Thank you for Kevin Rogers, for he opened up this discussion! Hope everyone can realize that one person can make a difference!

    :)

    Posted by: Jeff | Jun 11, 2011 8:52:58 PM


  25. I REALLY hate when someone attacks gay people VERY SPECIFICALLY and then assholes like the gay president of NBC release statements about how they will not support hateful speech of ANY kind rather than addressing THE kind of hateful speech was used. They went WAY out of their way to not mention, NOT EVEN ONCE, who it was that they were apologizing to and for what. Those who hate us are VERY specific in naming us but our so called "allies" and "fierce defenders" get all vague and ethereal when responding to the haters.

    The NBC response was as insulting to me as Morgan's rant.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jun 11, 2011 9:21:10 PM


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