Comedians Walk Fine Line in Defense of Morgan
BY Lucas Grindley
June 15 2011 1:20 PM ET
There is a short list of comics who are defending Tracy Morgan’s right
to say what he wants from stage while still distancing themselves from
comments that he admits went too far.
“He has the right to say what he says," said Marlon Wayans after the Webby Awards on Tuesday, according to Entertainment Weekly. "But he has to be a little more responsible and write a little bit and think a little more before he does it next time."
Wayans implied that Morgan’s rant against gay people was probably his effort to stumble onto new jokes for his act.
"That's why I don't like people having cameras in the comedy clubs," Wayans said. "Because you're just throwing thoughts out there, and that's the creative process. You're going to offend some people as you're finding the lines. Now, he didn't find a line, he found a cliff. But unfortunately, that happens."
Roseanne Barr took to her blog to call Morgan both an “idiot” and a “comic genius” – a combination that led him to say that gay people are “mistakes” and threaten to stab his son to death if he were gay.
“I know, as a comic, that Tracy Morgan was channeling the real everyday loathing directing at gay kids within their own hateful religious families,” said Barr, who notes that she has two gay siblings.
Barr argues that Morgan gave the country, and especially black America, a chance “to reconsider their homophobia, and their religious faiths. Thank you Tracy, for kicking down a door of silence that should not exist at all anymore. Many, many religious people say they would kill their gay kids if they could.”
Barr took swipes at comedians Chris Rock and Wanda Sykes for turning on “a fellow comic who is more brilliant and edgy than the two of them rolled into one.”
Sykes said on Twitter that Morgan had crossed into hate speech from the stage. Rock originally defended Morgan, saying he didn’t want to live in a world where comedians couldn’t offend from stage. But he quickly took it all back.
“Tracy Morgan is a tad off,” Rock later wrote on Twitter. “We all know that. So when Tracy says something, I usually don’t take it any more serious than I would a statement from Gary Busey or Flavor Flav. When I first heard the statement, I thought it was offensive but it also reminded me of my father saying ‘I’ll kill you if you ever bring home a white girl,’ but after reading everything Tracy said. Wow I get it that s— wasn’t called for, and I don’t support it at all.”
Rock joked, “Now can I please go to the Tony Awards without getting my ass kicked.”
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