The death of comedian Tracy Morgan’s career–as I see it

I believe in free speech, with that said if you choose to take that freedom and stick your foot in your mouth—well then that’s on you.

Funnyman and “30 Rock” star Tracy Morgan has done exactly that by going on a public diatribe about gays.

According to Hollywood Gossip, the “30 Rock” star was performing at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on June 3 when he allegedly told the sold-out crowd, “Gays need to quit being pussies and not be whining about something as insignificant as bullying.”

Okay forget the double negative—but really pussies about bullying?  C’mon Tracy, you’re killing me.

He later suggested that being gay was something kids “learn from the media and programming,” and said he would stab his own son if he ever talked to him “in a gay voice.”

What exactly is a gay voice?  Is there a certain pitch or tone that signals one is gay and if so what are those levels?  But more importantly, someone needs to call Child Protective Services on his ass for that last comment.  Really?  Stab your own son for speaking “in a gay voice.”

I really hate it when people at their top of their game slip up and fuck it all off over nothing.

There’s no law that says that Tracy Morgan has to like gays, in fact I don’t really care if he likes gay people or not.  But it’s one thing to not like gay people and another to go on a public tirade and that’s where Tracy Morgan went wrong.

Apparently he’s learned nothing from the many Black people who made the same mistake before him and found themselves in homophobe rehab and blacklisted from ever working in Hollywood again.

Now while Black people may overlook his comments—because if we’re going to keep it real, there are many Black people who probably agree with what he said—the reality is that Black people aren’t “30 Rock’s” main audience and we certainly aren’t the ones who green light Morgan’s career moves.  In retrospect, the only thing worse he could have done would have been to target Jews.

I have no sympathy for Tracy Morgan.  Not only because of what he said, but more because he was stupid enough to say it publicly.

I am not one of these gay people who feel that everyone should love all gay people—especially when I know that I don’t even like gay people myself half of the time.

Tracy Morgan made his bed and now he’s going to have to lay in it.  That’s on him.  I fully expect the usual suspects to issue statements condemning him and blah blah blah. Chances are they won’t stop there.  They’ll petition to have him kicked off of the show and like with Isaiah Washington attempt to ruin another Black man’s career.  If that happens, Black people will probably get pissed and blame it on the gays, because while we all aren’t “30 Rock” fans most of us do like Tracy Morgan the comedian and occasional film actor.  Which is exactly what we don’t need as we head into a highly politicized presidential election where as sure as I am Black, the Republican Party can be counted on to use gay marriage and immigration as issues to try and sway the Black vote.

And yes, I am sure Tracy Morgan’s people will issue the appropriate statement apologizing.  He may even get blackmailed (no pun intended) into doing a few gay bullying PSA’s in an effort to save his career, but in the end, none of it is going to matter.

It’s sad, but these days Tracy Morgan would have had a better chance at saving his career and face had he been a white man insulting Black people than a Black man insulting gays.

The Court of Public Opinion

  • Auntie Dogma

    >>>It’s sad, but these days Tracy Morgan would have had a better chance at saving his career and face had he been a white man insulting Black people than a Black man insulting gays.

    I was with you up the punchline.

    Two words: Michael Richards. Google if necessary.

    With all those TV specials — HBO, Comedy Central, BET — and all that headlining and touring, and TV and film offers, Richard’s career rebound proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that white guys can survive saying stupid shit about black people.

    Uh-huh.

  • ao

    May he RIP

    He was so talented with a career on the rise.

  • Jeff

    He was never funny in anything. Good riddance to him.

  • NAS702

    I don’t think his comments were enough to actual ‘ruin his career’ I think that this article, you and people like you who go on public diatribes calling for others to petition to have him removed from his show and make these suggestive statements are trying to ruin his career. Get over it, the man has a right to feel the way he wants. He does not have to love gays or anyone else. Stop trying to force your way of life down everyone else throats!!! and unless you have proof that he actually has stabbed his son, then there is nothing CPS can do for a statement made in an effort to be humorous. The whole skit he did was an attempt to be humorous, either grow a sense of humor or get on with your life and stop trying to ruin his!!!!

  • Nics

    Had he been anywhere but on stage maybe I could get riled up, but he wasn’t speaking to anyone in the audience specifically and he’s a comedian, it’s an act. I wish we weren’t going crazy with this politically correct thing.

  • LaJoya Johnson

    Has anyone actually read what he said. If not here is some of what he said.

    http://www.tmz.com/2011/06/10/tracy-morgan-homophobic-act-rant-comedy-gay-threats-kill-son-30-rock/

  • Dave

    She’s obviously another homophobic black person who knows nothing about what it feels like to be gay.

  • Jboogie

    @Dave now that’s comedy. Do your homework before you comment.

  • ART JACKSON

    JASMINE,
    AS A GAY HIV+ BLACK MALE DEALING WITH THIS VIRUS FOR 21 YEARS, HAVING COME OUT IN THE SUMMER OF 1980 AS A TEENAGER, THE BIAS, HATEFUL, VILE VIOLENT ATTITUDES THAT ARE PREVALENT IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY THAT ALLOWS TRACY TO FEEL OK AND TO CONTINUE THIS TYPE OF HATEFUL SPEECH!! ITS THESE TYPES OF ATTITUDES AND THE SUPPORT THAT CREFLO, LONG, JAKES, HARVEY, AND OTHERS GET THAT ALLOW THIS TO CONTINUE!! WE HAVE NOT HAD AN HONEST CONVERSATION ABOUT BLACK GAY AND LESBIAN PEOPLE. WE HAVE NOT HAD REAL TALK ABOUT WHAT WE SEE AND HOW WE INTERPRET THE REMARKS OF OUR LEADERS, COMEDIANS AND COMMUNITY WHEN IT COMES TO BEING GAY AND LESBIAN IN THE COMMUNITY. AS A PERSON WHO WORKS IN THE std PREVENTION FIELD i SEE HOW THESE ATTITUDES CONTINUE TO KEEP OTHERS FROM ACCEPTING WHO THEY ARE AND ENGAGING IN HONEST BEHAVIORS AND CONVERSATIONS ABOUT WHOM THEY LOVE AND HOW THEY LOVE!!! I’VE DEALT WITH MORE HATE AND BIAS IN MY OWN COMMUNITY! WHEN OTHERS HEAR THAT IM POSITIVE THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM THOUGH NEVER SAID IS THE BELIEF THAT I GOT THIS VIRUS THROUGH SOME VILE SEXUAK BEHAVIOR. i AM NOT SAYING TRACY CANT SAY WHAT HE WANTS, HE CAN, BUT I AND OTHERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY WHEN WE BELIEVE HE HAS CROSSED THE LINE AND POINT OUT WHEN HIS HUMOR CAN BE CAUSE FOR THE VIOLENCE AGAINST OTHERS THEN IT MUST BE CONDEMNED!! SO NO TRACY SAY WHAT YOU WANT AND I WILL CONTINUE TO SPEAK OUT ON HOW YOUR BEHAVIOR IS UNACCEPTABLE AND WHY!!!

  • art

    putting up with people homophobic attitude is over… And we will call you own it everytime…. oh! and if my kids skin color turns out to be to black I’ll pull out a knife and stab that little n**ger to death.

    or maybe this brings the point home better:

    He better talk to me like a WHITE man and not in a N**GER voice or I’ll pull out a knife and stab that little n**ger to death.

  • Shannon Lynn

    been “in the life” for over 37years gay & lesbo jokes or epithets have never bothered me I’d much rather know how someone feels rather than have them around me fakin it. I understand this was part of his stand up act he has always done gay jokes in his stand up routine, even played several gay characters on film & he makes one ugly azz fairy!if it was some kind publicity stunt it was real dumb and will most limely backfire on him, or perhaps he went to a gay males bar, tried to pick up some “trade” and no one would come near his odd lookin butt so he’s pissed off,I know several gay men and they would not find anything about him attractive the man looks like a clown! but then I guess he is a clown

  • Diogenes

    This is probably the best written analysis of this “event” that I’ve seen. But IMO you could have stopped before the last sentence.

  • cambridge

    ok a joke is a joke. i’m more concern that he is using the N word toward his son. Come on adults with kids and a right state of mind would never use that word to describle there children. I don’t care if he is a comedian, and not a good one at that. Just feel sorry for our people. Hey Jaz how are you.

  • elg

    Jasmyne, I agree with almost everything you said, especially this: “now while Black people may overlook his comments—because if we’re going to keep it real, there are many Black people who probably agree with what he said …”.

    I don’t know about that last sentence though. It would have been an excellent essay without that last sentence.

    Now about Tracy Morgan’s son. I’m thinking that Tracy’s rant may have came from a place of having seen something in his son he doesn’t like. I feel for Tracy’s son whether the boy turns out to be gay or not.

  • Jane

    I grow sooooo weary of homosexuals and their sad sob stories. You made a choice live with it! Especially those of you who are swishing all over the place and making passes at people who are not in the lifestyle. You are annoying….There are larger issues in the world other than your lifestyle choice and sexual preferences. WE should all have a right to our feelings. Just as you as a homosexual have made a choice, people who are not homosexual should have the right to say “ugh”. AS for Tracy MOrgan, he is a comedian and people paid to see him perform. He was not there to offer a sermon on the mount but merely to get a laugh…..GET A SENSE OF HUMOR….as for the remark about his son…REALLY…do you think he was serious about that remark? How many times in your life has a parent said, “I BROUHT YOU INTO THS WORLD AND I WILL TAKE YOU OUT” Do you really think that Tracy Morgan would announce to an entire audience his intent to murder his son! PLEASE!!!!!!

  • Darry

    “I am not one of these gay people who feel that everyone should love all gay people—especially when I know that I don’t even like gay people myself half of the time.”

    Jasmyne I so agree with you and “life style/choice Jane” where does one begin with YOU…LOL

  • kamora herrington

    Hey Jasmyne, you know I have two cents to throw in…

    Dear Tracy,

    I woke up to your apology this morning and was disappointed. You apologized to your fans and the gay and lesbian community; that missed the point for me.

    You know that your words offended the gay community because Kevin Rogers, an out gay man, was able to blog about his experience and share it with the world.

    I can’t pretend to know Mr. Rogers’ situation, but I’m going to assume that he’s found a way to live his life in an out and proud manner, and while your tirade against us was offensive to him, it didn’t create a life or death situation.

    Mr. Morgan, I’d like you to consider your position in the Black community. While you are a comedian and people expect that most of what comes out of your mouth will be jokes, there are certain cultural norms that you have the ability to perpetuate or reject or come up with something in between. Personally, I’d say examine them, but that’s me.

    When you perpetuate negative stereotypes towards the gay community, much less violence towards us, you’re reinforcing the belief that Black people hate gay people. I’m tired of defending my community against my community and you don’t make my job any easier by inserting yet another quotable example of Black people hating on gay people into the cultural and political discourse.

    Mr. Morgan I am a bi-racial, lesbian mother who works with LGBT teens on a daily basis. Most of these teens are youth of color – that’s us Tracy. Because of what they see and hear on t.v. and the radio they know that when they come out as gay they are losing the Black community. Imagine if someone told you being funny wasn’t a Black thing so you could only hang out with white comedians. And if you’d try to hang out with Black folks they’d reject you. And when you hang out with your white comedian friends, sometimes some of them would make Black folk jokes because Black folks are funny. That just doesn’t feel right. Does it?

    Mr. Morgan you’re an intelligent man. You wouldn’t be where you are and have achieved the accomplishments you’ve achieved if you weren’t. While my Black comedian example is a bit of a stretch I hope you get my point. Our children need to be accepted and loved for who they are. When you ridicule and advocate violence towards us as teens; when we’re just growing into who we are, you validate stereotypes and create unsafe living situations for our children…hear me out.

    Other than Mr. Rogers, I don’t know who was in the audience that evening. But let’s say there was a Black single mother in the audience who’s just figured out that her son is ‘that way.’ She hasn’t told any of her girlfriends, they’re just out to have a good time. Then you start Tracy. Her son is the same age as the son you’d stab. And you tell your joke and her friends laugh…and she laughs.

    What happens next, Tracy? I can tell you what I see. I’d LOVE to tell you what I see. Better yet, I’d love for you to come to my office and SEE what I see. Your apology may have come from the heart, but it missed the point. Some people will be happy with it, some won’t, some are going to want to flush out your bank account.

    I don’t want your dollar. I don’t want your apology. I want your ear, your time, and your understanding. Come to my office and meet the LGBT teens I work with or find other organizations and individuals working to support these marginalized children. Because again, Tracy they are us. Please, educate yourself on who these children whom you would theoretically stab are and consider their parents when you tell these jokes. When Mr. Rogers went home, he blogged. The theoretical mother out with her friends may have found a different outlet for her emotions. I’ve seen mothers like the one I described handle it in the most beautiful after-school special way. But I’ve seen far too many families torn apart by scenarios similar to the one you described on June 3rd.

    Sincerely,

    Kamora Le’Ella Herrington

  • Gail Hodge

    We might be able to excuse him -if he was speaking from a comediac standpoint. However, since he’s not funny anyway – there goes that argument…….He’s an ass.

  • Tony

    It’s jokes, get a life. And since when did “gay” mean “white” like they get to be racially offended over this.

  • WOW

    I agree with Tony how can gay go to meaning something about race. Any way the last comment goes to show you have to go ahead and blame the whole black community for another black person’s faults,im saying don’t blame a crew for one person who messed up. If you want to make a point keep it postive for others who didn’t have nothing to do with the problem.
    Just a thought