Saturday, June 11, 2011
Tracy Morgan and the Power of Redemption
I see that after having been buried by an avalanche of criticism, Tracy Morgan has apologized for his hideous homophobic rant.
"I'm not a hateful person and don’t condone any kind of violence against others. While I am an equal opportunity jokester, and my friends know what is in my heart, even in a comedy club this clearly went too far and was not funny in any context,"
And so has his boss Tina Fey.
"Stand-up comics may have the right to 'work out' their material in its ugliest and rawest form in front of an audience,' said Fey in a statement, "but the violent imagery of Tracy's rant was disturbing to me ... "
"I hope for his sake that Tracy's apology will be accepted as sincere by his gay and lesbian coworkers at 30 Rock, without whom Tracy would not have lines to say, clothes to wear, sets to stand on, scene partners to act with, or a printed-out paycheck from accounting to put in his pocket."
Now I like Tina a lot. But when I first read her statement I wasn't sure I could be that generous to a second-rate rate comedian who would think it funny to say such hateful things.
Not when so many gay kids are bullied to death. Or beaten and thrown out of their homes by their parents.
Or forced to live alone among many...
But then I read this from the gay producer and screenwriter Ron Nyswana
Yesterday, on the set of our movie, I sat in a minivan with Tracy Morgan, who wept as he told me about his violent childhood. I cannot understand the brutality of dire poverty or the soul-killing experience of growing up black in racist America. And Tracy cannot understand the pain of a gay child raised in homophobic America, under the constant barrage of taunts, threats of violence, and the ever-present fear of being exposed and rejected.
His pain is not mine and mine is not his. Neither of us reached adulthood unscathed by the shared prejudices of our culture. We've arrived at manhood slightly distorted, wounded and limited by our battles. We have been hurt. We make mistakes. But our mistakes are made in a cultural context.
Yesterday, while the world Tweeted away, issuing accusations and condemnations, a black, straight comic and a white, gay writer sat in a minivan, crying and trying to understand.
And then I had to admit that I do believe in the power of redemption. Because without it this world would be unlivable. I hate racism just as much as I hate homophobia. And the important thing is that the message has gone out again: bullying is bad, and bigotry is EVIL.
So what more could I want eh?
And besides there's a BONUS.
This tweet from Ana Matronic of the Scissor sisters...
Which not only makes me smile.
But also, since it's Saturday night...
I believe gives me a VERY good excuse to play one of my favourite music videos...
Yup. I admit it. I do believe in the power of redemption. Damn.
And I'd give ANYTHING to dance around with those feathers stuck to my tail.
Out of bad things come good things. Hint. Hint.
Have a great weekend everybody...