Tracy Morgan returned to the scene of his infamous anti-gay rant.
The 30 Rock star was in Nashville earlier today meeting with local gay and transgender residents to apologize for his controversial performance earlier this month at the city’s famed Ryman Auditorium.
“I want to apologize to my friends, my family and my fans,” he said at a press conference at the Nashville Convention Center.
“I don’t believe anyone should be bullied or made to feel bad about who they are,” Morgan said. “I totally feel that in my heart. I really don’t care who you love, same sex or not, as long as you have the ability to love. That’s the important thing here.”
On stage with Morgan was Kevin Rogers, the audience member at Morgan’s show who first revealed the homophobic tirade in a post on his Facebook page, and Herndon Graddick, GLAAD’s senior director of programs.
Rogers accepted the comic’s apology. “I believe it was just a huge mistake,” he said, according to The Tennessean newspaper.
“From the bottom of my heart I apologize to everybody who I offended with my words on stage in Nashville or anyone else,” Morgan said, before adding, “To err is human, to forgive is divine.”
Morgan’s appearance comes just a few days after meeting with members of the gay community at the Ali Forney Center, a New York City organization for homeless LGBT youth.
“Tracy’s remarks today have the power to reach millions with a message that gay and transgender youth should be met with support from families—not rejection or violence,” Graddick said in a statement. “In a state like Tennessee where anti-gay laws continue to be passed, it’s now more important than ever for allies like Tracy to speak out and let Tennesseans know that homophobia has no place on or off the stage.”
by MARC MALKIN