Just a week after apologizing to the LGBT community for a recent homophobic rant, comedian Tracy Morgan is in hot water, once again, this time with advocates for the mentally and physically disabled community who are demanding that Morgan apologize for his negative use of the terms “retard” and “cripple” in a recent comedy show.
According to E! Online, while performing at Caroline’s comedy club in New York City on Saturday, June 25, Morgan, once again, apologized to the LGBT community and then took aim at the disabled community.
“Don’t ever mess with women who have retarded kids,” Morgan said. “Them young retarded males is strong. They’re strong like chimps.”
Morgan also joked about dating a woman that he called “a cripple” with a prosthetic arm, a mechanical larynx and a portable dialysis machine.
Now, The Arc, a nonprofit organization catering to the intellectually and developmentally disabled, wants Morgan to apologize for his offensive remarks.
“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,” said Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc. “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.”
Morgan has clearly offended yet another community, but this latest incident brings into question the freedom and intent of comedy. Morgan’s homophobic rant, which suggested violence towards gays, clearly crossed the line and his jokes about the disabled community were inappropriate, but were they as equally cruel as his homophobic rant?
It’s reasonable to say that Morgan is now being used as a whipping boy as society reevaluates what is and isn’t appropriate for comedians to joke about. Clearly, Morgan needs to be more careful about what he says while perhaps society should reevaluate its own views about the disabled community. However, in the meantime, is a Tracy Morgan witch hunt really the most constructive solution? – nicholas robinson