The fallout from Tracy Morgan's homophobic rant continued to play out on Saturday, as several celebrities and Hollywood titans issued statements and took to Twitter to debate free speech vs. hate speech in the context of the comments the comedian made at a standup show on June 3rd in Nashville.
After "30 Rock" executive producer Tina Fey condemned Morgan's remarks on Friday, Cheyenne Jackson, an openly gay actor who plays Danny on "30 Rock," issued a statement to Out Magazine saying that he was "disgusted" by Morgan's words.
"I am disgusted and appalled by Tracy Morgan's homophobic rant," he said. "The devastating repercussions of hate-filled language manifest in very real ways for today's LGBTQ youth. I've known Tracy for two years, spent many long hours with him on set, and I want to believe that this behavior is not at the core of who he is. I'm incredibly disappointed by his actions, and hope that his apology is sincere."
Alec Baldwin, another "30 Rock" co-star, simply acknowledged the scandal Friday with a tweet that said, "Oh that Tracy," but said a bit more on Saturday, seeming to disapprove of his remarks by writing, "No one's making excuses for Tracy."
Baldwin is a noted advocate of gay rights, including same sex marriage.
Chris Rock, a fellow standup comic, at first defended Morgan on Saturday, taking to Twitter on Friday to say, "I dont know about you, but I dont want to live in world where Tracy Morgan cant say foul inappropriate s*it."
Rock then on Saturday amended his statements after learning more about what Morgan said.
"Tracy morgan is a tad off we all know that so when tracy says something i usually don't take it anymore serious than i would a statement from gary busey or flavor flav," he wrote. "when i first heard the statement i thought it was offensive but it also reminded me of my father saying ill kill you if you ever bring home a white girl but after reading everything tracy said . wow i get it that s*it wasn't called for and i don't support it at all. now can i please go to the tony awards without getting my *ss kicked."
Wanda Sykes, an openly lesbian comic, condemned Morgan but came down harder on anti-gay politics.
Hey, just back from family road trip. Ok, Tracy Morgan. Good thing I was busy because it would have been ugly, name calling. Pt. 1
Had time to think. Tracy is just a dumb comic. I fault the TN lawmakers. They've created an anti-gay environment. Pt2
Don't believe Tracy would be so ignorant in LA, because we have a mayor, a city council,and police chief who believes we are all equal. Pt3
I do believe in free speech, but for a youth in TN or any other numerous place, Tracy just yelled, "Fire," in a crowded theater.
Ok, piss'd reading, "I don't want 2 live n a world where Tracy can't say…" I Do! U Keep the world, just break me off an evolved country.
@rolandsmartin @AMERICAblogGay Tracy has the right to say whatever he wants to say, just like we have the right to say, not acceptable.
@rolandsmartin @AMERICAblogGay WE as a country. We used to picnic to watch public hangings, but WE figured out, that was some sick s*it.
@rolandsmartin @AMERICAblogGay No, society does effect the comedy stage, that's why you don't see anymore white comics in blackface. And it's up to us if we laugh or walk out.
@rolandsmartin @AMERICAblogGay This isn't about comedy. What Tracy said is dangerous. We r just trying to protect our kids. Peace and love!
The tweets to Roland Martin came after the CNN contributor blogged a defense of Morgan, in part by pointing out the other offensive things people accept in everyday standup routines, including racism, sexism and child abuse. Martin continues to make his point in an epic Twitter spree that has engaged any number of bloggers and other celebrities in debate.
"Scrubs" and "Cougar Town" creator Bill Lawrence also waded into the debate via Twitter, condemning the message but defending Morgan's right to say what he said, given the standup medium.
Don't like what T. Jordan said, but not sure stand-up comedy is the place to police political correctness re. race, sexual orientation, etc.
@JoeyLately Soooo agree. Funny wins. If you play w the sword and it ain't funny, the audience can and will turn on you. And that's good.
@maxvaliquette yeah, but in our country comics can try to tackle any of those things. They just better be funny: he wasn't.
Love this T. Morgan discourse. You all is smart. Such a dicey issue - the right to say horrific crap without losing your job.
@Splurge24 he was trying to be funny. Just wasn't. that's the rub: not everyone can be C. Rock or L. Bruce. And you're left with hate.
I guess I just don't think we can take his job away any more than we can take anyone's job away for speechifying. You can not watch though.
Meanwhile, in a bit of awkwardly timed praise, Morgan took home the prize for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series at the Monte Carlo Television Festival for his role in "30 Rock."