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Tracy Morgan's rant: Offensive or forgivable? [Most commented]

Tracy Morgan Tracy Morgan’s recent rant against gays prompted the editorial board to address that fine line comedians sometimes cross when pushing boundaries. That’s not to say the board thought Morgan was pushing boundaries by ranting he’d “take out a knife and stab” his son for being gay; quite the contrary. The board felt strongly that Morgan ought to be taken to task and that the incident should become a teachable moment for the comedian, and also for our society.

Readers, however, are questioning what makes anti-gay comments worse than rants about other groups. Here are their thoughts on selective outrage:

Aside from Tracy Morgan's rant from being insulting to all, the lesson to be learned from recent events is that it isn't what you say, but who you insult:  white, male, conservatives are still OK, but left-wing causes and groups are officially off limits. 

--TimBowman

Well, let us see if Tracy Morgan's rant is treated the same as the Michael Richards rant in an LA comedy club back in 2006.  I would guess or hope there should be no difference and the level of outrage should be the same. 

-- east-coast-scout

What's funnier AND more disgusting than Tracy Morgan's routine is the overall dishonest and self-righteous reaction to it by the usual hypocritical suspects on the Left.  If Morgan would have swapped the  descriptive "homosexual" for "Christian" or even "Republican"...we'd be able to hear a mouse urinating on a cotton ball.

Selective morals are no morals at all.

-- mcfloyd

Adult gay men and women can live with Mr Morgan's rant. Unfortunately, while things are getting better and better we are all to use to this sort of thing.  What is frightening though is the fact that Mr Morgan has 3 children. One has to wonder if his rant was triggered because he suspects one of them might be gay? And if not what if one of them is anyway?  Mr Morgan's statement that it is a choice shows an amazing amount of ignorance on the subject for this day and age.  Being gay...sexually oriented to the same sex...is not a choice. Actually having sex with someone of the same sex is a choice, but trying to hide or avoid your sexuality doesn't usually lead to a good life, or a good result.  I wonder if Mr Morgan knows that gay teenagers attempt suicide at as much as 3 times the rate of straight teens?  If one of his children is gay, and knows that he would rather stab them to death than accept it, what is their life going to be like.  Also Mr Morgan is famous.  How many gay teenagers watch his highly rated show, and will now wonder if their family and friends feel the same way Mr Morgan says he does.  That they would rather see them dead than know they are gay?  Mr Morgan should think about doing more than an apology.  He should get some education about the subject, and try and repair what could be very deadly damage for some confused teenager/s!

--valwayne

*Spelling errors in the above comments were corrected.

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-- Samantha Schaefer

Photo: Tracy Morgan. Credit: Paul Buck / EPA

 

Comments () | Archives (19)

The comments to this entry are closed.

onefeather

I agree with jkboyd. My God, get on with life, there are to many other serious problems in this world. If you are stright or gay there will always be comments or jokes we all may not like. He has the right to say what he wants. Don't watch him if you don't like what he says. Just because one is gay does not mean you control speech by anyone.

Justin S

The issue isn't about controlling his speech. Obviously we live in America, and anyone can say anything they want. But they also have to deal with the judgment of other people who hear these incredibly ignorant things being said. The reason no one would object to jokes about white, male, conservatives is because they are NOT a minority by any means. In fact, in America they are a powerful majority who do not have to worry about their rights being taken from them, being harassed in school, fired from their job, beaten, or murdered for who they are. Whereas gay people (and other minorities) DO. This is not selective outrage over "jokes" about gay people. it is outrage over a violent statement about a group of people who suffer violence every day. It is NOT funny, just as Michael Richards "Jokes" were not funny. I am shocked that this even requires an explanation.

disappointed + frustrated

I'm black and gay. I wouldn't tolerate a racist rant and I'm definitely frustrated with his anti-gay comments. It's not merely the suggestion of disapproval that people are upset about, it's the fact that this type of language makes less course (yet regressive) actions seem more acceptable. Truth be told I'm also disappointed at the apparent necessity to bring up the rant by Michael Richards. Did this east coast scout think the media reaction to Richards' rant was too sensational?

Jordan Shavarebi

Regarding this: "If Morgan would have swapped the descriptive "homosexual" for "Christian" or even "Republican"...we'd be able to hear a mouse urinating on a cotton ball," Christians and Republicans are not BORN Christians and Republicans, as it has been proved tirelessly that homosexuals are. The only replaceable terms here would be a race or gender, and you can be sure that if Mr. Morgan had said he would stab his son if he was (insert race) or (insert gender), there would be an even BIGGER uproar. This is undeniable.

veshti

He said what he felt at the time; Do you understand how many people dislike the notion of a person being, let alone calling themselves Gay? Tracy Morgan is one of billions of people that are Anti-Gay. The media is trying to soften the hearts of the multitudes , but they will not be able to convince those staunch Anti-Gay advocates. People only accept what they want to accept; Some American's still haven't accepted Blacks, Jews, Asians, Hispanics etc. They have a right to express that. I would much rather for a person to tell how they actually feel, than to have a person pretend that they are in acceptance of something that they really aren't (Those individuals are DANGEROUS) not Tracy Morgan.

Jay Adler

Tracy Morgan is someone I have always enjoyed in character, as matter of fact before he was born I lived in Uptown New York about three blocks from where he has stated on talk shows he presently resides. There is only one question I have based on the content he his being criticized for in recent stand up. Tracy is a bright guy, you have to be to act on television shows and carve a successful career in show business. The content of what he said appears to be discriminatory and based on recent events with performers and what happened to them when they did this, how come Tracey would even contemplate, as a professional including this speech in his act?

boochie

Many African Americans still have issues with gay people. That is why so many brothers are on the 'down low'.

Joel E

There are many Black Gay Men,but most older Black men over 50 , just don't believe in Homosexuality , By the way I'm 50 !

Mitchell Young

So I did a search "sandra bernhard" palin, site:.latimes.

No editorial about 'crossing the line' was provoked by Sarah Bernhard's threat that Sarah Palin would be "gang raped by my big black brothers" if she came to NYC, quite obviously playing into the stereotype of black men as rapists. Bernhard's remarks, delivered at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center's Theatre J, also included the gratuitous slurs 'shiksa, and goyishe', pretty clearly directed against not only Palin, but Christians/gentiles as a community. The audience seemed to enjoy it.

As far as I can tell Bernhard had a total of one appearance -- at a fund-raiser for a battered woman's shelter -- canceled. It's a huge cliche, but the double standard is so breathtaking it never fails to amaze.

Roger V

I thought this was America.... should we ban comedy all together? Tracy Morgan has always said ignorant and outragous comments during his comedy rants. If you take it serious, than you should not be going to comedy clubs. Comedy has always been offensive to some and hilarous to others. I worry about where this country is heading.

Puck

Any man who talks - in any context - about stabbing his own children really should get some help. I believe he has done so. Good luck to his kids.

Jerry K.

We have to understand the right of free speech protects all types of speech even if it hurts the feelings of another. If you are one of those people who agree people should refrain from saying things considered inappropriate, they also have to consider being quite as to not offend another person with their thoughts.

"Christians and Republicans are not BORN Christians and Republicans, as it has been proved tirelessly that homosexuals are" - If homosexuals are born that way why can't they reproduce?

Bob Matthews

Have you been to a comedy club, or watched Comedy Central filler shows? Insulting various groups of people is a major part of the content. Working that space among feelings of novel, discomfort and funny is what makes comedy successful. If you take a discomforting line in isolation, it becomes awful. I bet you could collect hundreds of examples on stage in LA in a week. Is that what happened to Morgan, or did his act move fail to balance the different feelings and end up pissing people off?

Nina

I'm GAY and I agree with "onefeather" - We are not fighting for equality so everyone can like us and not make stereotype jokes if that's how they truly feel. We are fighting to be respected, whether you like it or not; economically, socially, politically. Right now we have big movement in NY to pass the Gay Marriage Bill. Tracy Morgan tweeting and arguing is keeping me away from the phone lines to make sure that my state passes this legislature, which is far more important.

Let's move on.

W. Bryan

Morgan's comments are unforgivable.

We try to create a livable society and that society is seriously imperiled by comments such as Morgan's.

As long as the hateful bigot is employed by "30 Rock", I will not be watching it.

W. Bryan

sc7878

"If homosexuals are born that way why can't they reproduce?"

That comment is a typical, ignorant, logical fallacy. It is comparable to asking the same thing about women or men who, due to a birth defect or natural fluke, are unable to have children. Let me make myself clear, I am NOT comparing homosexuality to health problem or disability. I am merely pointing out that there are MANY characteristics which people are born with, which nobody denies are natural conditions, and which prevent them from reproducing. Like race, gender, or national origin, science has time and again indicated that homosexuality is an uncontrollable, naturally occurring characteristic.

Of course I would never expect a person who made a comment like this to trust science.

June K.

Really?? To all the Conservatives who keep saying liberals are so biased - please show me the recent rant where someone said they would take a knife out and stab their Christian baby and we let it go by. Where is this comedy routine and who said it? I will lead the outrage with you. I thought you constant criticizers would give liberals credit for their outrage at Tracy's murder plot because he is black and you think we never criticize black people. Please note we are suing Obama for his invasion of Libya without congressional approval. Unlike conservatives who blindly back other conservatives, we question those in our party and disagree openly. But bravo at masking your homophobia by turning this disgusting rant about killing gay people into an attack on liberals instead of dealing with the matter at hand. You have a knack for twisting things and not dealing with the issues at hand.

AD

It's easy for people to write this off and say, "Oh, who cares? He's just a comedian pushing the envelope."

Let's not forget that when he told that joke, much of his audience responded by laughing and cheering, meaning that they found the idea of stabbing one's own child for being gay funny or even desirable. Chances are, at least a few of those audience members have kids or other relatives who are gay.

The question to ask is, how many 14-year-olds first coming to terms with their sexual orientation would be willing to come out to parents who had reacted to a "joke" about violence against gay people like that? This is the reason why a lot of GLBT teenagers kill themselves.

Please think, people.

The Ceej

I didn't hear the rant in question, so I can't be sure, but I think it's very easy for people to take Tracy Morgan jokes seriously considering that he is not now, nor has he ever been funny. He tries so hard, but funny words have never left his lips.

So, what we have here is probably just another one of his failed attempts at a joke. Of course, if he really IS a homophobe, he should know better, so shame on him.


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