Tracy Morgan Apologizes By Joking About “Retarded Kids”

Like many of his other fans, I was horrified by comedian Tracy Morgan’s homophobic rant earlier this month, which he somehow thought was an appropriate part of his stand-up act.  But his “apology” for saying that he would “pull out a knife” and stab his son to death if he didn’t “come home and talk to him like a man” mostly revealed that Morgan is also prejudiced against the disabled.  Some apology, right?

During a stand-up routine at a comedy club in Times Square, Morgan explained that he had been misunderstood.  ”My father was the lead singer in the Village People,” he joked.  ”I would sing the ‘Y.M.C.A.’ the loudest. I was sitting right there when he wrote the song, my daddy. The Indian was my godfather.”

Morgan had initially apologized in a brief statement, saying that his remarks “clearly went too far and was not funny in any context.”  In the following days, he met with youths who had been abandoned after coming out, and even returned to Nashville, the site of his original stand-up routine, to apologize to any audience members who had been offended.  The events were organized by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), who claimed that Morgan’s first apology didn’t go far enough.

At the stand-up routine in New York, he thanked his audience for being there.  Speaking about the controversy, he said, “I don’t have that in me. I believe gay, straight, anybody, everybody’s supposed to be happy in this world, man.”  When he returned to his routine, however, the apology seemed a little less sincere.  Apparently he hasn’t learned to check to see whether his jokes are offensive, because he launched into a bit about “retarded kids.”

According to the New York Times, he told his audience, “Don’t ever mess with women who have retarded kids.” As the audience groaned and moaned, he continued, “Them young retarded males is strong. They’re strong like chimps.”  He then entertained his onlookers with jokes about ”his alleged teenage romance with a girl he described as ‘a cripple’ with a prosthetic arm, a mechanical larynx and a portable dialysis machine.”

So Morgan is now under fire from disability activists.  ”Tracy Morgan should apologize immediately,” said Peter Berns, the CEO of the Arc. “This quote is far too offensive to be excused as comedy, and it is very hurtful to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.  Mr. Morgan has an incredibly powerful platform from which to fix this, and if he’s learned anything in the last few weeks, he can’t bomb this apology.”

Is this guy ever going to learn?

Photo from alexerde’s Flickr photostream.


Karl Murphy
Karl Murphy6 years ago

I think its pathetic that anyone is offended by some dumbass comedian's comments. Its an act, and even if he does feel that way, who cares? People need to get over things, this PC world is getting a little too extreme.

Duane B.
.6 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

colleen p.
colleen p6 years ago

So far as this argument is concerned nonhuman animals and infants and retarded humans are in the same category; and if we use this argument to justify experiments on nonhuman animals we have to ask ourselves whether we are also prepared to allow experiments on human infants and retarded adults; and if we make a distinction between animals and these humans, on what basis can we do it, other than a bare-faced - and morally indefensible - preference for members of our own species?
-Peter Singer, Animal Liberation

Once we ask why it should be that all human beings - including infants, the intellectually disabled, criminal psychopaths, Hitler, Stalin, and the rest - have some kind of dignity or worth that no elephant, pig, or chimpanzee can ever achieve, we see that this question is as difficult to answer as our original request for some relevant fact that justifies the inequality of humans and other animals.
-Peter Singer, Animal Liberation

jane richmond
jane richmond7 years ago

Not funny! Apology nice but painful words are out there.

Joy Jin
Joy Jin7 years ago

Chances are good. But after time and time again, I wonder how many people are going to watch him.

Darcy H.
Darcy H7 years ago

Tracy Morgan just needs to slip quietly off into the abyss. Just shut it down. One day he's going to make the wrong person angry.

Robin O.
Robin Opperman7 years ago

At what point will people stop paying money to go and see him? This guy seems to be the new Charlie Sheen :)

K s Goh
KS Goh7 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Jill C.
jill c7 years ago

Tracy Morgan has never been funny. I've never understood how he got any kind of personal stand up gig but then again, this is the limit of the time I'll spend on the likes of him.

Edward M.
Edward M7 years ago

You could all shorten his career as a "comedian" by refusing to attend his shows.
Then anyone considering following his lead as a role model for up and coming comedians would definitely consider their options.