Tracy Morgan has apologized for making anti-gay comments during a stand-up show last week that the 30 Rock star said "clearly went too far."
During a June 3 show at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, Morgan went on a homophobic rant during which he said he would "pull out a knife and stab" his son if he were gay, according to audience member Kevin Rogers' account on Facebook. Rogers wrote that Morgan said being "gay is a choice" because "God don't make no mistakes" and that "gay was something kids learn from the media and programming, and that bullied kids should just bust some ass and beat those other little f---ers that bully them, not whine about it." (Read Rogers' full account here.)
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"I want to apologize to my fans and the gay & lesbian community for my choice of words at my recent stand-up act in Nashville," Morgan said in a statement. "I'm not a hateful person and don't condone any kind of violence against others. While I am an equal opportunity jokester, and my friends know what is in my heart, even in a comedy club this clearly went too far and was not funny in any context."
GLAAD, which was among various gay rights groups that had called for Morgan to apologize, is now asking the comedian to meet with youth and families who have been impacted by anti-gay violence.
"Tracy Morgan must not only apologize, but assure us that this won't happen again and send a clear message to Americans that anti-gay violence is no joke," GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said. "If Tracy Morgan is sincere, he should take us up on meeting these families who have lost loved ones to the type of violence that he is mocking. Perhaps by hearing their stories, he will learn that while we all love humor, this is no laughing matter."
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A rep for Ryman Auditorium said the venue regrets that people were offended by Morgan's comments. "The Ryman does not control the content presented by people appearing on its stage, nor does it endorse any of the views of, or statements made by, such persons."
This isn't the first time Morgan has come under fire for his stand-up material. In 2009, several people walked out of his New York show after he said that being gay is a choice, according to The Advocate.