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Tracy Morgan's apology: Takes two, three and four

June 14, 2011 | 11:50 am

Tracy MorganTracy Morgan crossed the line during a recent comedy gig in Nashville, when his jokes went from funny to hateful. He released an apology, and his "30 Rock" boss, Tina Fey, released a strongly worded statement condemning Morgan's homophobic remarks and pointed to all of the gay and lesbian people on the "30 Rock" crew who have made Morgan's success possible. And it would seem Morgan has learned from his mistake. On Monday, he called GLAAD to apologize, but rather than a standard-issue statement, he showed his vulnerability. CNN released part of the transcript from that call, in which Morgan talks about being bullied as a kid and struggling in a family with a disabled brother and a father who died from AIDS in 1987.  "My dad wasn't gay, but I also learned about homophobia then because of how people treated people who were sick with that," Morgan said. Next week, Morgan plans to return to the scene of his comedy crime and personally apologize to the audience he offended. And he’ll also record a public service announcement for GLAAD's upcoming "Amplify Your Voice" campaign.

In an editorial from Tuesday’s Opinion pages, the board addresses when artists and performers such as Morgan cross "a line that seems fuzzy -- until the minute you step over it." Maybe Morgan thought he was pushing boundaries, but he "left his audience wondering whether he is a garden-variety homophobe." And, though the board is glad that Morgan's been taken to task, writing that...

When artists slip from funny to hateful, it's time to stop laughing and call them out on it. We all learn something from doing that.

...the question remains whether Morgan's mea culpa is enough, or whether the GLBT community as well as his fans and co-workers will or should want more.  

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--Alexandra Le Tellier

Photo: Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan. Credit: Charles Sykes / AP Photo, file

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