Louis C.K. defends Tracy Morgan: “He was f*cking around”

By | June 15, 2011 at 11:47 am | 17 comments | News | Tags: , , ,

Louis C.K.All-Star comic Louis C.K. defended the recent homophobic stand-up bit performed by Tracy Morgan over Twitter today. He argued that Morgan “said something wrong, evil, cruel, ignorant and hilarious. He was on a comedy stage, not a pulpit.”

He then went on to further argue that he wasn’t offended and that “it’s clear to anyone with an ability to reason and understand people that he didn’t mean a word of what he said. He was fucking around.”

Essentially, C.K. argued that Morgan did no wrong as he was just doing comedy. Louis, who frequently has material that could very easily be deemed offensive, obviously feels that in the name of comedy and humor there’s nothing wrong with being offensive.

Days before C.K. came to his defense, Morgan had apologized profusely through official statement and interviews and has pledged to attend gay pride rallies.

What do you guys think?

For all of Louis C.K. tweets head over to his twitter feed.

About the Author

Dave Emrich

While not slaving away and working his fingers to the bone for Laughspin, Dave plays drums with his band Mark It Zero. He also writes comedy and is a frequent tweets @daveemrich. Dave is a huge fan of video games, rye and exotic meats – he also sets a DVR because The Daily Show airs too late for his infantile sleeping habits. Dave works in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada in Marketing and Advertising and thinks OJ was guilty.

  • M_Seegz

    People are more prepared to fight in the defense of the spread of
    bigotry, hatred and violence than they are to protect the people beset
    by those things. I’m glad you’ll “defend to the death his right to
    declare my life forfeit.” I’ll eagerly remind you of which side you
    fought for, the next time an innocent gay kid is bullied into suicide by
    your beloved, protected hate speech.

  • Onus Spears

    It’s late.
    Some of my sentences sound retarded because I’m tired.

  • Onus Spears

    What is speak-able must be spoken by comedians; or we are nothing.

    I think Tracy was making jokes about foul and violent things.

    I don’t like the jokes; but I’ll fight forever for his right to say them.

    People get very galvanized when money (or the potential loss of money) or power from a choice of one person effects among many who could be damaged; hence Tina Fey’s response. I believe it was irresponsible to the show and the other people who give their lives to make it great.

    Powerful people stand to lose for what Tracy said; do they like freedom of speech right now?

    Perception of this event as being a reason for censorship is NOT OK with me in the least.

    The freedoms in our country have evaporated under the heat of fearful ignorant people. Our Constitution is hobbled by fools who think the prohibition of speech is going to eliminate awful acts. The truth is: If you gag people they will become more violent and aggressive just to be heard. Words are the abstract tools used as predecessors of action: Without them there is only action, whatever that action may be.

    The forum we use right now (this message board) IS an awesome place where we can discuss;future censorship from ignorant fools my even ban this forum.

    What is speak-able must be spoken by comedians;
    or we are nothing.

    Carlin won over dumb red-necks in the 70’s because he followed an authentic need to be himself. The muting of a person because of them being foul and violent in their speech is anathema to our entire societies health.

    Moral high ground vs Power
    Freedom of Speech vs Your co-workers

    Is it worth the freedom of to lose the show, or to diminish it?

  • juls

    “The only joke that’s offensive is the one that’s not funny” – chris wainhouse

  • http://www.ChadRiden.com/ Chad RIden

    Louis is 100% correct.

    I was at the show and although the bit in question did not get laughs from ME, it DID get laughs at The Ryman that night. His “tone” wasn’t any different from when he was talking about butt-fucking retards or when he was talking about how women should be at home cooking. Where is the outrage from the retards? Why aren’t we talking about women’s rights right now?

    The Tracy Morgan controversy is NOT about Tracy. It’s 100% about TN HB 600 / SB 632 http://j.mp/m34KC9 & Stacy Campfield’s ridiculous “Don’t Say Gay” legislation http://j.mp/lvkWKr — Both TN state bills are terrible, hate-fueled legislation proposed by Republicans and GLAAD is using Tracy Morgan as a pawn to further their agenda in the state.

    LGBT rights / equality is important & TN is a hotbed right now.. but by demonizing Tracy Morgan, the new victim has become free speech. Comedians – and all artists of any medium – must be able to communicate whatever they want, however they see fit. As soon as one subject/word/idea is “off limits” then it’s ALL taboo. Tracy’s words were in the context of a show, NOT a political statement

    Tracy’s act was paraphrased second-hand in text by someone who was offended by a performer who has said similar things many times before. Yes, it was “violent imagery” and it would be “disturbing” IF you thought he would act out literal interpretations of his ACT in REAL LIFE.. but what moron actually believes that?

    Sometimes I say the exact opposite of what I mean and exaggerate view points I totally DISAGREE with, but sarcasm doesn’t translate to text. We can’t take the literal meaning of the text of the words comedians say in their ACTS and use that to try to judge their REAL WORLD opinions. Johnny Cash did not kill a guy in Reno. Steven Wright didn’t have a pony. Tracy Morgan wouldn’t stab his kid to death. Use your brain.

    If special interest groups who exist ONLY to be offended by things are allowed to dictate what artists can say.. Freedom of Speech is dead.

    I’ve written a lot more about this subject at http://NashvilleStandUp.com and have been outspoken in the Nashville media this week. A lot of people feel the same way. I find it ironic that because of this controversy comedians are now being bullied by the LGBT community.

  • Rick Crom

    Ok, as a comedian who’s also gay I’m relieved to know that I can now do a routine about how if I ever had a son who started acting like a n*gger, with his pants below his ass, talkin’ all ghetto, I would get a knife and stab the little jiggaboo.

    That’s ok for me to say now right? Of course I have the right to say it. It’s from a comedy stage not a pulpit.

    But I wouldn’t because I understand that words have power and influence. I don’t want to be the one to put that image in anyone’s head.

    High profile comedians like Tracie should understand that they DO have an influence like it or not. If they dont care..well fine.

  • steve

    People who are offended by this might not be offended by saying people who believe in religion are crazy… or a spousal abuse joke (there are many… or Sandra Bernhards awful Sarah Palin joke. Stop selectively calling the thought police.

  • http://www.google.com(type'geofftate'intothesearchbar) geoff tate

    The problem with what Tracy Morgan said was that it wasn’t funny. He shouldn’t apologize for it. The idea that people are disturbed by what he said is ridiculous. He’s allowed to say whatever he wants, even if what he wants to say is wrong or offensive. I think the problem here is that people liked Tracy Morgan (much like Michael Richards) and after this, they are disappointed they don’t (or can’t) like Tracy Morgan anymore (much like Michael Richards). It has less to do with what he said and more to do with how they now have to take part in some self examination. In a weird way, he’s forced people to deal with ideas and issues they would much rather ignore. Maybe he’s a genius. Maybe he stumbled into it. But, either way, he does not need to apologize.

    People don’t understand that they hold all the power. Just stop going to his shows. He gets to say whatever he wants, but you don’t have to listen if you don’t like it.

  • Jon Sosis

    The first thing that pissed me off most was Chris Rock getting attacked for a tweet that commented on Tracy and not condoning what he said. Seinfeld was on Leno 24 hours later defending Michael Richards which was clearly a rant and we heard nothing about it.

    In both cases I think they were trying to save their acts but Michael Richards doesn’t have a “fork up the ass, n*gger” bit. Tracy HAS done the gay bit before but this time I think it failed (which it never was strong to begin with) and he kept going to get that one laugh which is usually what new comics do. Sure what he said was hateful but I think this was the gay community looking to get spotlight on an issue that really was a non-issue as far as the stage he said it on. It wasn’t an HBO bit, wasn’t a late night talk show bit, it was at a TRACY MORGAN SHOW where people know (because he tells them) that they aren’t getting Tracy Jordan.

  • http://youtube.com/Lawsoncomedy Lawson

    To respond to Jason the difference is calling an audience member a nigger after they heckle you is clearly just being hateful, way different than bringing up a “what-if” scenario regarding his son’s sexuality, that sounds more like a bit. Even if it is offensive and poorly constructed, with no real punchline.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/JimiMack7 Jimi Mack

    Commedians have made headlines for years by saying controversial or offensive things, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Sam Kinison, Andrew Dice Clay, Michael Richards, and many others. My personal litmus test is simple: is this comic’s act funny? If yes, then that’s just how they do their job. If no, then their language is probably just a desperate attempt to salvage their act through shock, and they probably won’t be working much longer because the audiences will feel ripped off. (Un-funny comics tend to weed themselves out of the business.)
    I personally don’t agree with C.K. that Tracy is hilarious, but he does have many devoted fans. I do, however, strongly agree with C.K. that “He was on a comedy stage, not a pulpit”. That’s just how Tracy chose to do his job that particular night. Love it or leave it.

  • Jason Randall

    Connotation and expression is what made the difference quite clear.

    It wasn’t a part of his bit, but rather side note that he wanted to get off his chest, based on the manner and method he said the words.

    That’s where the issue comes into play. That, and there was NO punchline in his comment.

    Where were all of you when Michael Richards needed backup? Or is gay bashing more acceptable than calling your audience a bunch of N*****s?

  • Anthony

    It is a good point since Louis has a joke about how he “would never rape anybody, unless they won’t have sex with him.”

    So, Louis can say something pro-rape and be celebrated as one of the best comics of our generation, but Tracy can’t say something that is anti-gays from a comedy stage? Seems like some sort of double standard.

  • brad

    In this case context matters, a lot. If the reports are true that Morgan had changed his tone significantly and was speaking with palpable hatred and anger, then Louie is wrong, no matter how much I love him. But, seeing as it seems like the reports are based on one account, there’s definitely room for error. If it was a bad joke, Louie’s right. If it was a rant, he’s wrong.
    Really, I wish Louie had stayed out of it, tho I understand and mostly sympathize with his presumable desire to see stand-up remain a space without limits.

  • http://jasonislas.com Jason Islas

    God forbid the should ever come when comedians no longer offend our sensibilities. That’s absolutely one of my favorite things about comedy, that it’s a vehicle for pushing the envelop and talking about taboo subjects in a way that shows how absurd it is that we have these taboos.

    It frustrates me that people use political correctness or any sort of “it’s not right” style criticism to constrain comedians, or anyone else for that matter. I think the problem is not what Tracy Morgan said, but what he said it about and there’s an inherent double standard in that sort of criticism.

    If you don’t like his jokes, don’t go to his shows. I would even go so far as to say, even if he did mean what he said, he certainly doesn’t owe the world an apology. Just because I don’t agree with someone, I would never demand that he shut up and say sorry if he said something he didn’t like.

    Good on Louie.

  • Jason Randall

    Something tells me Tracy Morgan is on the downlow. That explains the homophobic rant followed by claims his father died of AIDS.

  • Jon Sosis

    Agreed. I had this argument with a bunch of gay comics. It wasn’t a gay rally. It was a comedy show. If anyone left there thinking it’s okay to hate or start to hate/be violent towards gays, we have a bigger issue than one guy doing a REALLY poorly written bit. If you give the same material to Louis CK, he’d deliver perfectly and you wouldn’t hear a peep.

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