Tracy Morgan has apologized for making homophobic jokes during a recent standup routine, and now he and GLAAD have jointly announced the next steps he’ll be taking to atone for his anti-gay words. He’ll be meeting with LGBT teens from the Ali Forney Center in NYC this week, who “were shunned or left homeless by their parents as well parents who lost their children to anti-LGBT hate crimes including Elke Kennedy,” according to a statement released to the press. He also shares his bullying experience in the apology.
“I know how bad bullying can hurt. I was bullied when I was a kid. I’m sorry for what I said. I didn’t mean it,” Tracy says in the statement, of the joke that he would do violence against his child if he came out as gay. “I never want to use my comedy to hurt anyone. My family knew what it was like to feel different. My brother was disabled and I lost my father to 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. Parents should support and love their kids no matter what. Gay people deserve the same right to be happy in this country as everyone else. Our laws should support that. I hope that my fans gay, straight, whatever forgive and I hope my family forgives me for this.”
Next week he will go to Tennessee with GLAAD and Russell Simmons to meet with those offended by what he said and make a public statement of support for the LGBT community. He’ll also be filming a PSA as part of the GLAAD “Amplify Your Voice” campaign.
GLAAD says of Tracy’s efforts: “By not only apologizing, but sending a message of support for gay and transgender people, Tracy will help many realize that no one should be treated differently or subjected to violence,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “It is so important that Americans hear from allies like him as well as gay and transgender youth shunned by their families and parents who have lost their only children to anti-gay violence. We look forward to working with him on spreading this message to Americans.”
Russell added his thoughts on the situation as well, noting that the unfortunate incident could have a positive results.
“In the years that I have known Tracy, I’ve only ever known him to want to make people happy. This experience might be a blessing. The amount of pain he caused has resulted in a new sensitivity for him that he can now use to bridge communities,” says Russell. “I’m proud to be a straight American who spends time advocating for the LGBT community and for marriage equality. I’m happy to have another ally in Tracy. People like Tracy Morgan need to speak out against homophobia and I hope more leaders within the black community and everywhere speak out in support for marriage equality like he has.”