Tracy Morgan gives personal apology in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A stone-faced Tracy Morgan delivered a personal apology Tuesday to audience members in Tennessee who were offended by his anti-gay remarks during a stand-up routine earlier this month.

The comedian and actor returned to Nashville to meet with gay rights advocates and attendees of the show, including the man whose Facebook post to 1,500 friends first brought attention to the comedian's comments. After the meeting, Morgan held a news conference at the Nashville Convention Center.

"I don't have a hateful bone in my body," Morgan told reporters. "I don't believe that people should be bullied or just made to feel bad about who they are. I totally feel that in my heart."

After about 5 minutes of prepared remarks, Morgan hugged the Facebook commenter, Kevin Rogers, before leaving the room. The "30 Rock" star didn't take questions.

It was Morgan's second public apology since his June 3 show at The Ryman Auditorium. He met with homeless lesbian and gay youth Friday in New York City, and agreed to the Nashville meeting at the request of Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation President Jarrett Barrios.

Rogers said he got the feeling Morgan was sincere in his apology.

"Our discussion was a lot of just his genuineness at being sorry for what he said," said Rogers, a 36-year-old photographer. "He never meant to hurt anybody. He never realized as a comedian that he had such reach as he did to people. He just thought he was just some guy up there speaking and he never meant to hurt anyone."

The former "Saturday Night Live" cast member is known for an outrageous, unpredictable comedy style where few subjects are taboo. He's tackled homosexual themes and characters before with little outcry. But even Morgan admits he went too far during his show at the Ryman, a hallowed music venue that rarely hosts comedy.

The 42-year-old comic said during his set that if his son were gay, he would "pull out a knife and stab" him, among other anti-gay statements.

"A large majority of the audience did laugh and kind of cheer," Rogers said. "I'm not sure how much of that was nervous laughter and how much was in genuine support of the words. I know at the time, to me and my partner, we felt that there was genuine support of those words."

Before the news conference, Morgan told gay advocates and some people who had attended the show that he'd even had members of his own family rebuke him for his comments, said Herndon Graddick, senior director of programs for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Morgan told them that he often improvises his stand-up routine and was following a riff he thought would be funny, eventually crossing over a line and going too far. He said he has an opportunity to change his message on stage and relayed a story about how Richard Pryor stopped his liberal use of a racial epithet after a trip to Africa.

"So now at this point in my life is an opportunity to make a difference," said Morgan, who wore a purple striped shirt, droopy designer jeans and a silver medallion on a necklace. "I don't really see gay or straight. I see human beings now. "

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Vincent Kartheiser's next role is opposite of 'Mad Men' part
    Vincent Kartheiser's next role is opposite of 'Mad Men' part

    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Vincent Kartheiser (KARTH'-eyes-er) plays the antithesis of his smarmy "Mad Men" character Pete Campbell in the upcoming NatGeo miniseries "Saints & Strangers." …

  • 'Fuller House': Twins Are Back! 
    'Fuller House': Twins Are Back! 

    Well, at least one set of twins is confirmed to join "Fuller House." Nicky and Alex are back! …

  • Twins Confirm 'Fuller House' Return 
    Twins Confirm 'Fuller House' Return 

    Well, at least one set of twins is confirmed to join "Fuller House." Nicky and Alex are back! …

  • Zayn To Make 'Real Music'
    Zayn To Make 'Real Music'

    Is your 1D shade-o-meter going full crazy right now? …

  • Tituss Burgess on 'Kimmy,' race and pinot noir
    Tituss Burgess on 'Kimmy,' race and pinot noir

    By Piya Sinha-Roy BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (Reuters) - A glass of wine at his side, Actor Tituss Burgess says he is used to fans serenading him with his catchy "Pinot Noir" song from Netflix's hit comedy "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." After honing his acting in theater, Burgess, 36, stepped into the television spotlight with Tina Fey and Robert Carlock's "Kimmy Schmidt," securing a supporting actor Emmy nomination for playing eccentric roommate Titus Andromedon to Kimmy, a former 'mole woman' …

  • Lambert Thanks Jesus For Friends
    Lambert Thanks Jesus For Friends

    Miranda Lambert made fans' night on Tuesday when she stepped out to perform at Nashville's iconic 3rd & Lindsley Bar and Grill. …

  • Lambert Thanks Jesus For Girlfriends
    Lambert Thanks Jesus For Girlfriends

    Miranda Lambert made fans' night on Tuesday when she stepped out to perform at Nashville's iconic 3rd & Lindsley Bar and Grill. …

  • Tituss' 'Peeno Noir' At Emmys?
    Tituss' 'Peeno Noir' At Emmys?

    Ever since Tituss Burgess scored an Emmy nomination for "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," we've had one mission: get him to sing "Peeno Noir" at the Emmys! …

  • Beyonce's unretouched L'Oreal photos only latest in her long history of Photoshop controvers …

    Beyonce's unretouched L'Oreal photos only latest in her long history of Photoshop controvers …

    Celebrity News - Fri, Feb 20, 2015 1:47 AM PHT
    Beyonce's unretouched L'Oreal photos only latest in her long history of Photoshop controvers …

    Beyonce’s #Flawless image is embroiled in controversy once again. On Wednesday, a web site called The Beyonce World leaked 224 allegedly raw photos of the musician. The images showed Bey in full makeup for the 2013 L’Oreal ad campaign — but with the kinds of “imperfections” we all have — beauty marks, bumps, creases. In the wake of Cindy Crawford’s unretouched photos, the images have been praised by critics of a beauty industry that sets impossibly high standards, standards that Queen Bey …

  • Taylor Swift reveals ‘Style’ video

    Taylor Swift reveals ‘Style’ video

    omg - Sat, Feb 14, 2015 12:14 AM PHT
    Taylor Swift reveals ‘Style’ video

    The 25-year-old released the video for her third cut from platinum selling album 1989. …

  • My mother-in-law’s personal encounter with the pope

    My mother-in-law’s personal encounter with the pope

    Write Away - Wed, Jan 28, 2015 2:29 PM PHT
    My mother-in-law’s personal encounter with the pope

    For my mother-in-law Mrs. Elsa Yrastorza Yuzon, flying and soaring in the skies is part of her normal routine. But it reached new heights when Pope Francis boarded Shepherd One. …