Earlier this month, Tracy Morgan caused a storm of controversy when he launched into an anti-gay tirade during a comedy show in Nashville, Tenn. (According to accounts, the 42-year-old joked that “if his son that was gay, he better come home and talk to him like a man … or he would pull out a knife and stab that little [n—–] to death.”) Since then, the actor/comedian — who has heard a fair share of opinions about his words from his Hollywood peers — has asked for forgiveness for his insensitive remarks, and is even making a personal appearance back in Nashville to apologize to the audience members of the now-infamous show and gay advocacy groups. Morgan is likely hoping his tour of contrition will reverse his public image since his rant — and NBC seems to be sticking by their 30 Rock star, for now.
While Jerry Seinfeld’s The Marriage Ref returns to the network this Sunday, June 26 with a season premiere that features Ricky Gervais and Julianne Moore, the July 3 episode may garner even more attention, since it will, in fact, feature Morgan. NBC confirmed to EW that the Morgan episode of The Marriage Ref, which also features guests Regis Philbin and Susie Essman, “is airing as scheduled.”
In the days following the controversy, NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt released a statement which read, “I speak for NBC and myself personally when I say we do not condone hate or violence of any kind and I am pleased to see Tracy Morgan apologizing for recent homophobic remarks in his standup appearance,” Greenblatt said, then added, “We will always recognize an artist’s freedom to express him or herself, but not when reckless things are said no matter what the context. Unfortunately, Tracy’s comments reflect negatively on both 30 Rock and NBC — two very all-inclusive and diverse organizations — and we have made it clear to him that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.”
Though NBC will not tolerate Morgan’s words, so far, his role on 30 Rock appears safe — as far as we know, he’s still set to reprise his role as Tracy Jordan on 30 Rock next season.