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:
"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.”