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June 9, 2011 2:43 PM   Subscribe

Star of the popular sitcom 30 Rock, Tracy Morgan, allegedly told a Nashville audience during his comedy routine on June 4 that " gay is a choice," "there is no way a woman could love and have sexual desire for another woman, that's just a woman pretending because she hates a .... man", and that "gay was something kids learn from the media and programming, and that bullied kids should just bust some @## and beat those other little fuckers that bully them, not whine about it. " Truth Wins Out, a self-described "a non-profit organization that fights anti-LGBT religious extremism" is calling for Morgan to respond to the allegations
posted by roomthreeseventeen (230 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
I shudder to think what "@##" is if it can't be printed alongside "fuckers".
posted by Trurl at 2:47 PM on June 9, 2011 [37 favorites]


If she said that she's either really screwed or moving to Fox News any day now.
posted by jaduncan at 2:47 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


...she?
posted by shakespeherian at 2:48 PM on June 9, 2011 [10 favorites]


jaduncan, you don't know who Tracy Morgan is, do you?
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:48 PM on June 9, 2011 [55 favorites]


heh. Oops. Lesbian/Freudian typo, I'm afraid.
posted by jaduncan at 2:48 PM on June 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also, previously,

And oops, didn't see the fuckers.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:49 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know I shoudnt be by now, but I am extremely disappointed by this.

More naively, I usually expect that it should be impossible to be in show business for a long period of time and not somehow have the homophobia shaken off of you to an extent through contact with gay people on what has to be a pretty regular basis.

Is he just playing to what he assumes are a certain audiences basest attitudes or is he ignorant or both or wha?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:50 PM on June 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Amazing how their perception of lesbians mirrors that of rejected, knuckle-dragging men.
posted by Dark Messiah at 2:51 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


moving to Fox News any day now.

I'm trying to imagine this right now, and the idea is pure awesome. "I'm the face of post racial America, deal with it Cate Blanchett."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:53 PM on June 9, 2011 [39 favorites]


I am going to assume that he was speaking in character — the only character he's ever played on every show he's ever appeared on — the blithely stupid, narcissistic, in-your-face moron.
posted by Nomyte at 2:55 PM on June 9, 2011 [13 favorites]


The Tracy Morgan link is to a facebook page.

So, one of the most famous comedians in America made a terribly insensitve slur - and the only evidence for it is a facebook page.

Journalistic standards have hit a new low.
posted by Flood at 2:56 PM on June 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


is there a non-facebook link for this?
posted by boo_radley at 2:57 PM on June 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


When keeping it crazy goes wrong.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:58 PM on June 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


Journalistic standards have hit a new low.

I guess we're waiting for the corroborating tweet then.
posted by Dark Messiah at 2:58 PM on June 9, 2011 [35 favorites]


Metafilter: oops, didn't see the fuckers.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:58 PM on June 9, 2011 [19 favorites]


I am going to assume that he was speaking in character

I'm going to assume that, if he was speaking in character, he did a bad job of conveying that. I don't think I've seen any OUTRAGE headlines about the terrible racist things Sarah Silverman has said on-stage.

So, either way: I am disappoint.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:59 PM on June 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Uh oh, the gay mafia will not take kindly to this.

Maybe he should put his money where his mouth is and decide to be gay for a while.
posted by clockzero at 2:59 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Note the similarities in the description of the routine in the link above, and the description noted in this link here. You can't possibly take this seriously.

"Any gay guys in here? I’m friends with all kinds, I’m friends with all kinds. If you can take a dick, you can take a joke. I’m making fun of everybody."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:59 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dark Messiah: "Journalistic standards have hit a new low.

I guess we're waiting for the corroborating tweet then
"

Ha!
posted by dejah420 at 2:59 PM on June 9, 2011


Who cares?

Honestly, unfunny comedians say insensitive wrong things every day. Do we really need NGO's calling out every instance of being wrong? They are going to freak the fuck out when they hear Rush Limbaugh.
posted by Keith Talent at 3:01 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Speaking in character


It's probably telling that the instant I read this I heard little musical cues and imagined Liz screaming at the TV "NO, stop talking! Who let him have his own opinions?" points at the writers. " It was you wasn't it! You ruined it with your thinking!"
posted by The Whelk at 3:02 PM on June 9, 2011 [32 favorites]


I get the feeling that Mr Morgan doesn't actually play a character on TV - if you heard him interviewed on Fresh Air you get the feeling that that's actually him.

And to quote him via his on-screen character, "I'm straight-up mentally ill."
posted by GuyZero at 3:02 PM on June 9, 2011


I'm not really a douche bag, I just play one in real life.
posted by Dark Messiah at 3:04 PM on June 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Furthermore, he allegedly said that if his son was gay and “whined” about being a bullying victim, he would kill him, using words that will not be repeated here. Morgan is also said to have called upon President Obama to “man up” and stop speaking out for LGBT kids.

Man, I just can't call it. He's just crazy enough to say something like that and mean it but also plays the kind of (also crazy) character that maybe he thought (from an out-of-touch point of view) that kind of crazy statement would be funny coming from that character.
posted by ignignokt at 3:04 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


He doesn't act that way, he is that way, is the impression I got.

Which means by all rights he needs to apologize to this statement by making out with his indentical Japanese sex doll.
posted by The Whelk at 3:05 PM on June 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


You mean, a comedian said some offensive things during a comedy routine? Is nothing sacred any more?
posted by vidur at 3:05 PM on June 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm having a sort of Andy Kaufman moment that it is hard to tell whether he is playing a character, really like that, this way because he can get away with and/or mentally ill. The guy just keeps doing the inappropriate crazy to the point that it hard to tell, and you wonder if you could tell if it would matter anymore.
posted by meinvt at 3:05 PM on June 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's probably telling that the instant I read this I heard little musical cues and imagined Liz screaming at the TV "NO, stop talking! Who let him have his own opinions?" points at the writers. " It was you wasn't it! You ruined it with your thinking!"

The real Tina Fey is probably similarly freaking out, except without the comfort of subconscious foreknowledge of an inevitable melodramatic resolution.
posted by ignignokt at 3:06 PM on June 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


The show is ending next season anyway.
posted by The Whelk at 3:07 PM on June 9, 2011


At least Doug Stanhope offers to blow you for drugs after calling you a faggot.
posted by PapaLobo at 3:07 PM on June 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


I've always been surprised there are ANY successful people in the Entertainment Industry who are NOT total Raving Right-Wing Randians because you need a delusional belief in Meritocracy to deal with the shit involved, while every success inflates your egomania.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:08 PM on June 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


But whether or not he means it, he is being a shit for shitting on gay people because he's less afraid of them, say, Latinos.
posted by ignignokt at 3:08 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess we're waiting for the corroborating tweet then.

Only if it's from a super-tweeter.
posted by The World Famous at 3:08 PM on June 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Apparently one can use Kanye West's Twitter feed as an automatic Tracy Morgan quote generator by appending "Liz Lemon!" to the end of every "tweet" whilst reading them aloud.

"I didn't know Howie Mandel was part of Train, Liz Lemon!"

"Mick Jagger is crazy fresh, Liz Lemon!"

"I might walk in Nobu with no shoes, Liz Lemon!"
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:08 PM on June 9, 2011 [75 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: "Also, previously,

And oops, didn't see the fuckers.
"



roomthreeseventeen: "Also, previously,

And oops, didn't see the fuckers.
"

I saw the fnords!
posted by Splunge at 3:09 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


And they seem to have messed up my quote.
posted by Splunge at 3:09 PM on June 9, 2011


vidur: "You mean, a comedian said some offensive things during a comedy routine? Is nothing sacred any more"

You may be confusing stupidity with humor.
posted by boo_radley at 3:13 PM on June 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


Could this be something to do with the Wanda Sykes thing?
posted by Artw at 3:14 PM on June 9, 2011


What Wanda Sykes thing?
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:15 PM on June 9, 2011


" Being gay is a choice, Liz Lemon, like being Republican, or Irish!"
Smash cut to break room, Liz is getting coffee with a large red-headed man.
" The tax burden on high income earners is harsh at best and"
" Shove it O'Reily"
posted by The Whelk at 3:16 PM on June 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


To be fair, you could do that liz lemon thing with anyone.

WHAT?! General Motors CEO wants YOUR gas bill to be higher, Liz Lemon!

We'll highlight the beauty of legal immigrants' work ethic and love of freedom while visiting Ellis Island & Statute of Liberty today, Liz Lemon!

Awww...growing up to be a fisherman! Happy Birthday, Liz Lemon!

--Sarah Palin
posted by stavrogin at 3:18 PM on June 9, 2011 [10 favorites]


Did this even actually happen?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 3:23 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Call me old fashioned, but I'm gonna need a source better than 'some guy on the internet'. Particular when that guy starts with the hallmark dick move of 'I'm a huge fan, but..."

Not saying it didn't happen -- but I'm going to need way more than this to condemn somebody.
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:29 PM on June 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is there an Overton Window for comedy? You know that Tracy Morgan's running gag on SNL was about bestiality. That's when I decided to deliberately not watch SNL, rather than just passively not watch it.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:29 PM on June 9, 2011


I was at that show in Nashville on the 4th. I'd say that the guy with the facebook page in the first link has a pretty accurate recollection of what Tracy Morgan said, so yeah, it totally happened.

I was sitting near the back, and I don't think people were laughing much after he started ranting about gay folks. He certainly wasn't being funny, just spewing garbage.
posted by zoetrope at 3:29 PM on June 9, 2011 [50 favorites]


Sarah Palin

"He who warned uh, the British that they weren't gonna be takin' away our arms, uh by ringing those bells, and um, makin' sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed, Liz Lemon!"
posted by EarBucket at 3:31 PM on June 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


Although, y'know, I'm just a girl on the internet, so you don't have to take my word for it, either.
posted by zoetrope at 3:31 PM on June 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


Oh Tracy, you didn't really win an Oscar. You don't have to say moronic shit to get people to not take you seriously.
posted by klangklangston at 3:33 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Has anyone here actually watched a Tracy Morgan standup routine? From the little that I've seen, I didn't think it was all that funny. Mostly uncomfortable. Morgan plays a character -- weird, hard to define, crazy, pretty stupid, but still ultimately the same character. He is only funny when paired with a not crazy thing. Morgan saying stupid shit alone? Usually not funny, and apparently pretty offensive. Morgan saying stupid crazy shit next to a rofling Conan or Stewart? Funny as hell.

Think of 30 rock. When is Tracy Jordan better: when he's paired with similarly crazy and stupid Jenna? or when he's paired with the semi sane characters like Liz, Jack, Grizz, or DotCom?

I won't say that (if true) this offensive thing surprises or doesn't surprise me, but it's just not going to color my perception of him as a character. Him as a human? Maybe -- but he is from a very different background and culture than myself. That's not an excuse, but it could be an explanation.
posted by Think_Long at 3:34 PM on June 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Uh oh, Jenna is gonna be jealous of the attention he's getting.

No doubt she'll launch some wacky plan to piss off the gays. Hilarity will ensue.
posted by formless at 3:36 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Could it be that his prescription (funny yt link) ran out?
posted by Slap Factory at 3:37 PM on June 9, 2011


If this leads to him being summarily dismissed from 30 Rock, then I'm sorry, gay folks, it's for the greater good, you're going to have to take one for the team this time.
posted by madajb at 3:38 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


From his appearances on The Daily Show, he strikes me as the sort of guy who just says stuff until he gets a laugh. He's so lateral a thinker that eventually something is left-field enough to catch the listener by surprise and elicit laughter. Verbal Diarrhea. He's basically the Wesley Willis of comedy.

(is any of this getting a laugh, or should I keep going?)
posted by Eideteker at 3:38 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


No Jenna forms solidarity with the gays, led by Will Arrent's character who's having a bad time after his husband left him, while Jack is running damage control by telling Liz to make TGS as gay friendly as possible.

End act one.
posted by The Whelk at 3:39 PM on June 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


He doesn't act that way, he is that way, is the impression I got.

According to my sister-in-law's husband, who has met him in professional circumstances, yeah, what you see is pretty much what you get.
posted by Trurl at 3:41 PM on June 9, 2011


I’m divorced now, but we were married for 21 years, and me and her used to role-play...one time I got her a Girl Scout outfit, told her to go outside and knock on the door and sell me some cookies. She went, ‘Mister, want some butter-crisp cookies?’ I walk out in my boxers and my dick hanging out and go, ‘Come in little girly. I’ll buy two boxes.’ Then I fuck the shit out of her. Then we ate the cookies.”

This is actually a pretty good joke.
posted by davejay at 3:45 PM on June 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Jack: This is awful Lemon, you've got run damage control and make sure none of this hits the media by tonight.
Liz: Wow Jack I didn't know you cared so much about oppressed minority groups.
Jack: Of course I care, high income gay couples spend 30% more on luxury pet collars ,vacations to exclusive massage islands, and generally stay quiet about our lizard-man breeding program, you can't ignore that in our economic upside down recovery.
Liz: Okay I'll issue a statement and get Tracy to apologize.
Jack: No! The media doesn't care about apologies anymore, anyone can apologize, look, I,m sorry you dressed that way! See? No I've got Devon and his interest group riding my ass trying to a force an apology down our throat and I fior one am not going to lie down and take it.
Liz: That really could have come out better.
posted by The Whelk at 3:50 PM on June 9, 2011 [68 favorites]


Yeah, I don't see how what Tracy said could be parsed as a joke. He seems to really not like gay people.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:52 PM on June 9, 2011


I've always thought of Tracy Morgan as filler so that Tina Fey and her staff writers don't have to come up with 21 minutes of funny material every week. However many minutes of screen time Morgan takes up, subtract that from the length of the show and that's how much funny material they have to write.

Occasionally they do give him something funny to say, but these are bonuses. 30 Rock fans are acclimated not to expect this.

On preview -- The Whelk, that was solid.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:53 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's funny because when you add Lemon to Palin tweets they turn into Jack Donaghy.
posted by mek at 3:54 PM on June 9, 2011 [10 favorites]


(Come to think of it, it'd probably be more useful the other way around: subtracting the number of minutes of funny material they've got determines how much screen time to give Tracy Morgan.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:54 PM on June 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I just hope Michael Richards never says anything dumb, he's like my favourite guy.
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:55 PM on June 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


Uh oh, the gay mafia will not take kindly to this.

I thought he was more worried about the Black Crusaders.

In show, this would be a good excuse to bring back Liz' lesbian friend.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:57 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Occasionally they do give him something funny to say, but these are bonuses. 30 Rock fans are acclimated not to expect this.
posted by George_Spiggott


I think you're accidentally watching a different show and seeing 30 Rock commercials in between.
posted by haveanicesummer at 3:58 PM on June 9, 2011


The Doctor Spaceman bit, when they introduced Chris Parnell's character, was one of the most brilliant pieces of television in recent history.

Buuuut, it does look like Tracy Morgan isn't really acting all that much. He's a great character/character actor, but like Michael Richards/Kramer, that does not translate into great standup comedy.
posted by Xoebe at 3:59 PM on June 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


If nothing else our mock spec script has to reference the hilarious " is it because I'm a lesbian?" line from the last L&O.

I'm thinking the dutch Lady Writer.
posted by The Whelk at 4:06 PM on June 9, 2011


I do think Tracy Morgan is occasionally really funny, but more often he's reminding me of why I don't like "wacky". I think weird is the greatest, but weird done well is actually a subtle thing and wacky is what we get when people don't understand that. Being weird is about contrast with our expectations and juxtaposition with circumstances.

Ok, has anyone seen "Fishing With John"? Willem Dafoe on all fours, delirious, moving his head back and forth, listening for whatever as he starves to death: that's weird and brilliant. Tracy Morgan running around in his underwear, screaming "I AM A JEDI"? Wacky.

Clowns:Comedians :: Zany:Weird
posted by neuromodulator at 4:07 PM on June 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sure as hell not defending what he said, but I remember when he was on Fresh Air (available here, use the 'Listen to Story'). He seemed very honest and very raw — not at all what I was expecting.

Before I just thought of him as weird and not that funny. I came away thinking that he had really been screwed over by life. Made it harder for me to dislike him.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:08 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think you're accidentally watching a different show and seeing 30 Rock commercials in between.

30 Rock just finished up its fifth season, and is about to embark upon its sixth. It's been cool to say they've lost their voice and are just filling space and pandering for almost two years now. Didn't you know every brilliant show instantly turns to shit as soon as the third season ends?
posted by kafziel at 4:08 PM on June 9, 2011


Buuuut, it does look like Tracy Morgan isn't really acting all that much. He's a great character/character actor, but like Michael Richards/Kramer, that does not translate into great standup comedy.

QFT. As shown by the participants in the "standups summit" that is the subject of its own post nearby, there's demanding craft in what they do.

FWIW, I now routinely pronounce the name of Bush's adviser as Karl Robe.
posted by Trurl at 4:08 PM on June 9, 2011


Also as a general thing I just want to say that 30 Rock stalled pretty badly about 2.5 seasons in, Community's last few episodes were on a real downhill slope, Parks & Recreation has become quite boring, and if the new Curb Your Enthusiasm shows similar signs of shittiness I will throw a rock through a policeman.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:09 PM on June 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


It is clear, everything sucks forever.
posted by The Whelk at 4:12 PM on June 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Someone tell the people at Truth Wins Out never to watch Raw.
posted by nathancaswell at 4:13 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm 30 and I've been sleeping with girls half my life but just as I believe people should be free to sleep with who they like I also believe in the freedom of people to think what they like. He's entitled to his opinion even if other people disagree with it. You can find it funny or not, insightful or not, truthful or not but don't howl down his right to say it if you simultaneously jealously guard and stridently proclaim your right to say or believe things that others find "offensive". If you believe in freedom then you believe in it for those you oppose as well as those you support. This is the test of whether your belief in freedom is an ethical stand or partisan posturing.
posted by joannemullen at 4:23 PM on June 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


Rock just finished up its fifth season, and is about to embark upon its sixth. It's been cool to say they've lost their voice and are just filling space and pandering for almost two years now. Didn't you know every brilliant show instantly turns to shit as soon as the third season ends?

I ask you to accept this as the honest testimony of a man who has no reason to lie to you.

After our both having ignored it for the first several years of its run, my wife put Season 1 on our Netflix queue and insisted we start watching it.

It was funny! Tracy-as-Oprah asking himself in the mirror "What would I DO-ooo?" is now her favorite thing.

We quickly went through all of Seasons 1 and 2. We started season 3 with high hopes.

Our hopes went disappointed. And although the souring of public opinion you refer to had already occurred, my wife and I weren't aware of it - since we had no interest at all in the show at that time.

So to emphasize: My wife and I didn't decide that the show went downhill in season 3 because it was an "in" thing to say. We decided that because we were hardly laughing at it any more.

It might have had a resurgence in Season 4, for all I know - since we only rewatched (frequently) Seasons 1 and 2 after that.

But I'm telling you: Season 3 was poor. I don't think people are saying it to feel superior.
posted by Trurl at 4:27 PM on June 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


"You can find it funny or not, insightful or not, truthful or not but don't howl down his right to say it if you simultaneously jealously guard and stridently proclaim your right to say or believe things that others find "offensive". If you believe in freedom then you believe in it for those you oppose as well as those you support. This is the test of whether your belief in freedom is an ethical stand or partisan posturing."

This is particularly inane contrarian posturing.

Of course he has a right to say it — no one is insisting that the government start shuttering Tracy Morgan shows. However, right-thinking people have just as much a right to say, "No, actually, you shouldn't say that — it's wrong, hurtful and makes you look like more of a drunken hack than we already took you for."

So, the idea that it's "partisan posturing" to say that Morgan's a moron for shooting his mouth off like this and spouting some bullshit is, itself, bullshit and an attempt to reframe the dynamic of the interaction in order to paint Morgan as a victim.

Like all "Tolerate intolerance" hand-waving, it's essentially a pass for assholes and a way for you to aloofly tut-tut people who are annoyed at asshole behavior.
posted by klangklangston at 4:28 PM on June 9, 2011 [78 favorites]


Honestly, I don't know who is more crazy. Assuming that Tracy Morgan is in character, doing a bit, then you'd have to call on pretty much all comedians to apologize for some bit. Assuming that this IS Tracy Morgan, his character IS himself, you're calling on someone who didn't go see Spiderman because "Toby Maguire owes him fifty bucks," to apologize for his insanity.

Not productive.
posted by Tikirific at 4:30 PM on June 9, 2011


Did this even actually happen?

I would not make any assumptions either way.
posted by Artw at 4:32 PM on June 9, 2011


You know what, saying that saying 30 Rock is shit is something people are just saying because it's "cool" is like saying that saying Hitler was a knob is something people just say to be "politically correct". And also, saying that any mention of Hitler in any context is effectively a Godwin is the new saying that 30 Rock sucks, so don't even try it.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:32 PM on June 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Clearly, we put too many farts into the machine.
posted by The Whelk at 4:33 PM on June 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


He's entitled to his opinion even if other people disagree with it.

Absolutely. And those other people are entitled to say what they think of his opinion. That's how free speech works.
posted by EarBucket at 4:37 PM on June 9, 2011 [12 favorites]


Freedom of opinion is not shelter from criticism. Quite the reverse.
posted by Dark Messiah at 4:40 PM on June 9, 2011 [23 favorites]


this corresponds to the Tracy Morgan that I saw at Cobb's in SF a couple weeks ago. Not word for word, but he did speak out against anti-bullying initiatives and said he didn't believe in transgenderism because "God don't make mistakes". And no, it wasn't a character.

Dave Chapelle pushed it a little with a trans joke at the New Parish a while back and the crowd did NOT put up w/it. I guess Cobb's is more touristy, Morgan got no resistance whatsover.

But yeah, 30 Rock fans. Your hero Tracy Morgan is pretty much a homophobe.
posted by mcgordonliddy at 4:43 PM on June 9, 2011


But yeah, 30 Rock fans. Your hero Tracy Morgan is pretty much a homophobe.

I'm a 30 Rock fan and Tracy Morgan isn't my hero. What a bizarre statement. Alec Baldwin isn't my hero either. Tina Fey is one of my heroes, but not because of a character she plays on a television show. Tracy Morgan can be the biggest prick on the planet and 30 Rock can be hilarious in the same universe. No problem at all.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:46 PM on June 9, 2011 [29 favorites]


$86 to see Tracy Morgan? Shocking!
posted by PHINC at 4:49 PM on June 9, 2011


Inscrutable.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 4:53 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Should I be laughing at this? I kind of did, but now I'm not sure if I should feel bad about it or not.

I'm usually 100% all about tolerance and not saying stupid hurtful things, but on the other hand I read the quotations in Tracy Morgan's voice and struck me as being humor. I mean, ranting about bullying anti-bullyers? It's so over the top, I can't believe he means it. As someone said above, I'm getting major Andy Kaufman vibes.
posted by jess at 4:53 PM on June 9, 2011



Dave Chapelle pushed it a little with a trans joke at the New Parish a while back

et tu, Dave Chapelle? No way, he's like a sage to me.
posted by sweetkid at 5:04 PM on June 9, 2011


vidur: "You mean, a comedian said some offensive things during a comedy routine? Is nothing sacred any more"

boo_radley: You may be confusing stupidity with humor.


"Star of the popular sitcom" and "during his comedy routine" are right there in the FPP text. So no, I am not confusing anything. I didn't say it was funny. I didn't say it was not stupid. I just rephrased the FPP content with some emphasis to point how how silly it is to outrage over this. In fact, I forgot to use the "allegedly" and "self-described" bits.

And then if you add the fact that Tracy Morgan and Tracy Jordan are almost completely indistinguishable, the silliness of the whole thing is just off the charts. Goes to 11, one might say.
posted by vidur at 5:06 PM on June 9, 2011


Community's last few episodes were on a real downhill slope

LIES
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:10 PM on June 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


Community's last few episodes were on a real downhill slope

That's a good thing, right? Like part of a roller-coaster ride?
posted by vidur at 5:16 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


For the folks who keep question whether or not this even happened, please go back and read zoetrope's comment confirming that it did, indeed, happen, since she was *at that performance.*
posted by tzikeh at 5:18 PM on June 9, 2011


Community's last few episodes were on a real downhill slope

*slaps face with moleskin glove*

You have made a powerful enemy sir. A powerful enemy.

*skulks off, imbibes sherry*
posted by Jofus at 5:19 PM on June 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've never gotten the Community or Parks and Rec love, TBH. That said, I continue to like 30 Rock so make of that what you will.
posted by Artw at 5:23 PM on June 9, 2011


If you believe in freedom then you believe in it for those you oppose as well as those you support. This is the test of whether your belief in freedom is an ethical stand or partisan posturing.

I don't believe in the freedom of comedians who should know better to get on stage and basically advocate taking a knife to me because I'm a dirty God-forsaken faggot -- and not get called on their bullshit. Freedom be damned. This is 2011, not fucking 1961. Tracy Morgan is not Lenny Bruce.
posted by blucevalo at 5:25 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've never gotten the Community or Parks and Rec love, TBH.

I'm not a big fan of community, but I really liked the D&D episode. s2e14.
posted by stavrogin at 5:27 PM on June 9, 2011


I actually liked the paintball one a lot, but if I just watch random non-special episode of it I just get bored.
posted by Artw at 5:29 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


yeah, it is nice seeing Chevy Chase being funny for the first time since the 70s, but it's not really enough to carry it for every episode.
posted by stavrogin at 5:31 PM on June 9, 2011


*slaps face with moleskin glove*

I misread that as "Moleskine glove" and thought, "ugh, hipsters ruin everything."
posted by palomar at 5:35 PM on June 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


A "slap with a moleskine glove" is an affront to your dignity, written down in a tiny journal at a 4th-wave coffee shop.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 5:39 PM on June 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Who cares?

Is Tracy Morgan he really even popular among gays and lesbians? There are no gay characters on 30 Rock at all. there are never any lesbians but, that's a personal quibble.
posted by parmanparman at 5:43 PM on June 9, 2011


There are no gay characters on 30 Rock at all.

This is not true.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:44 PM on June 9, 2011 [12 favorites]


(Devin Banks)
posted by nathancaswell at 5:45 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh and Jeffrey Weinerslav references being an "overweight transgender" at one point, does that count?
posted by nathancaswell at 5:51 PM on June 9, 2011


And the first season episode that revolved around Jack setting Liz up on a date with a lesbian. And the fourth season episode where the B-plot was Liz's recently-outed cousin staying with her.
posted by kafziel at 5:54 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


There are no gay characters on 30 Rock at all.

No, but those shoes are definitely bi-curious.
posted by bondcliff at 5:55 PM on June 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


Don't forget D'Fwan, Angie's stylist -- he's not just a gay hairdresser, he's also a gay party planner.
posted by palomar at 5:56 PM on June 9, 2011


(And Jenna's gay entourage, none of whose names I can remember)
posted by palomar at 5:57 PM on June 9, 2011


And Jenna's gay entourage, none of whose names I can remember

Oh, snap!
posted by Trurl at 5:58 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh and how can we forget Jonathan?

safe to assume he's gay right?
posted by nathancaswell at 6:01 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fact is it doesnt change a gay persons life one bit, and neither this mook's comments or your criticism of them are doing anything but taking up air.

Fair enough. I was pissed off and letting off a little steam. So sue me. To paraphrase joannemullen, it's a free country. I agree, his opinion probably doesn't matter. In fact, he may have just been fucking with the audience. Who knows. Not sure why my being momentarily pissed off about it affects you, though.

And I live in Nashville, so yeah, I can damn well remember what city it was.
posted by blucevalo at 6:03 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


If Jonathan's not gay, then I would advise therapy for his attachment issues, because daaaaang.
posted by palomar at 6:04 PM on June 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Jonathan isn't any gayer than Wayland Smithers.
posted by bondcliff at 6:14 PM on June 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


Jenna's boyfriend Paul is a "gender dysmorphic bi-genitalia pansexual" but I don't even know what that means tbh.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:14 PM on June 9, 2011


(jonathan's "boil your bunny" level of slavish devotion to jack unnerves me a bit, actually. perhaps i am alone in this?)
posted by palomar at 6:14 PM on June 9, 2011


(And Jenna's gay entourage, none of whose names I can remember)

Sasha and Patrice. They haven't been on in a while, but I wish they were regulars.

"Ooh, Melissa! Your face is on the phone. Soccer practice is over, and you need to pick it up!"
posted by Dismantled King at 6:21 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh god, yes, Patrice! How could I forget Patrice's name, after that awesome burn?

Wow, lots of gay characters show up on 30 Rock. That's pretty damn cool.
posted by palomar at 6:23 PM on June 9, 2011


Trurl: "I shudder to think what "@##" is if it can't be printed alongside "fuckers"."

Ultra-profanity.
posted by oxford blue at 6:35 PM on June 9, 2011


For the record I always was kind of disappointed that season 3 didn't pick up with the lingering effects of the detonation of the gay bomb. Although it would be hard to top "let's do this."
posted by nathancaswell at 6:39 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is what happens when you take comedians seriously.
posted by gjc at 6:51 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


There're like 5 articles on this on google/news at the moment.

I skimmed the thread, but has it actually been confirmed yet? At most these seem to be going off of the word of a single audience member. I'm not saying I doubt it, but I am reminded of the hubub around the Top Gear hosts' stupid, yet not racist, comments from about a year ago regarding Mexicans that were blown up in a similar fashion because of bad journalism-via-twitter.
posted by codacorolla at 6:56 PM on June 9, 2011


It's been confirmed in-thread, codacorolla.
posted by sweetkid at 6:57 PM on June 9, 2011


Oh, ok. I was looking for a link.

That sucks, and it makes me think less of him. Morgan has never seemed like the most together person, despite being fairly funny.
posted by codacorolla at 6:59 PM on June 9, 2011


here's zoetrope's recollection, for codacorolla and others -- I too was looking for some verification outside the FB page but believe the backup by zoetrope.
posted by sweetkid at 7:04 PM on June 9, 2011


Clearly this situation calls for the intervention of Jack Donaghy, Executive Superhero
posted by Chekhovian at 7:06 PM on June 9, 2011


I doubt there is anyone reading this thread who does not have a favorite artist of their own whose asshole tendencies they regret but accept.
posted by Trurl at 7:06 PM on June 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wanda Sykes was born Wanda Sykes. Wanda Sykes did not choose to be Wanda Sykes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:10 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


30 Rock had a pretty excellent recovery this season, I felt. I thought seasons 3 and 4 were kind of shlock, but 5 was consistently and surprisingly funny.

Community is a fascinating experiment to watch. Dan Harmon is pretty clearly over his head — this is his first network show and he's going out of his way to take risks, but other episodes are rushed and uneven. Which is okay, because Community's only in its second season. I predict it'll keep getting better till it gets dumped.

Is here a place where we can talk about how unexpected and sad last night's South Park was?
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:12 PM on June 9, 2011


Is here a place where we can talk about how unexpected and sad last night's South Park was?

I think South Park has been libertarian drivel for... 6 years now, but I'm curious what high horse they got up on this time that was especially bad.
posted by codacorolla at 7:15 PM on June 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


So... people actually think Tracy Morgan is funny, right? Like, actual thinking MeFite types of people? Because I have seen him do a lot of things and mostly he's just been edgy (which isn't usually funny) and largely annoying with a large helping of "if I pretend I'm somehow mentally damaged people will laugh at me", which really doesn't make me laugh.

Maybe I haven't seen the right things from him, or something. I've watched a few things by him, some movies here and there, I think he did an HBO special at one point I saw... I keep wondering what the appeal is, but it has never surfaced for me.

That he thinks my sexuality would be a choice... that I have deliberately sat down and decided to live a life where my parents barely speak to me and never acknowledge my nearly-18-year relationship... where my sister called me 3 days before her first wedding and disinvited me because her redneck husband-to-be (and soon thereafter ex-husband) was worried I'd be french-kissing my partner in the pews, and she hasn't invited me to any of her 3 (or is it 4?) subsequent weddings.... where I've been fired from jobs, rejected from social groups, and finally workplace bullied about my sexuality to the point where I thought I was losing my sanity...

Yeah, fuck that guy. He's an asshole disguised as a popular television star, and deserves to be shunned as the fucktard that he keeps revealing himself to be.
posted by hippybear at 7:16 PM on June 9, 2011 [20 favorites]


The opposite, codacorolla. With four minutes to go they admitted (SPOILER WARNING) that they've just been going through the same predictable routine for the last few years, that it feels like shit. They ended with Stan's parents separating, packing out the things in their home, and leaving the town, set to Fleetwood Mac without a hint of irony.

The episode itself was about growing older and becoming a cynic and seeing everything as shitty, and how miserable it feels; it was goofy, but the ending felt really jarring. It's the first downer-note episode of South Park in all its 15 seasons, and I'm really hoping when they return they stick with it. Book of Mormon was (from what I heard) a mature, thoughtful piece of work, so the thought that they've finished it now and want to try and turn South Park into a more grown-up show is kind of stunning.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:20 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


So... people actually think Tracy Morgan is funny, right? Like, actual thinking MeFite types of people?

Yup.

Sucks if he's a homophobe, but he can be very funny.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:21 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tracy Morgan is the reason I've never been able to watch 30 Rock more than an episode or two a year. I won't be sorry to see him plummet into obscurity.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:21 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


So... people actually think Tracy Morgan is funny, right? ... He's an asshole disguised as a popular television star...

Yes, people think Tracy Morgan is funny. That's why he's a popular television star. It wasn't due a clever marketing campaign.

And yes, he is also an asshole. We can feel bad that he hurt people and still think he's funny.
posted by Trurl at 7:22 PM on June 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've never thought 30 rock was funny...though I did like Tina Fey's book Bossypants.

I think that Tracy Morgan often goes for the lowest common denominator joke...so that even cavemen can get it.

To fans of 30 Rock, I'm sorry one of the stars said something stupid and horrible.
posted by schyler523 at 7:22 PM on June 9, 2011


Hey there. I think Tracy Morgan is funny because I think he hits "ridiculous" and then goes over the top with it. I don't like his stand-up especially, but I think he's a good character actor. I don't believe I'm a caveman, and would like to imagine that I think occasionally.
posted by codacorolla at 7:31 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Homophobia is huge in the black community, unfortunately.
posted by Renoroc at 7:35 PM on June 9, 2011


I don't believe I'm a caveman

\checks Geico counter

Nope. You're clean.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:47 PM on June 9, 2011


checks Geico counter

you should also ask the stack of money, the lizard and the fake Rod Sterling guy
posted by nathancaswell at 7:51 PM on June 9, 2011


I didn't say that only cavemen will think it was funny. I also never said that I think he's never funny...just that almost always he goes for the low hanging fruit comedically speaking.
posted by schyler523 at 7:57 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


you should also ask the stack of money, the lizard and the fake Rod Sterling guy

but you leave that guy with the great '70s moustache alone.

Oh wait, he's Progressive. Okay, you're safe.

Also, is a Geico counter what you use to count the amount of insurance savings radiation something gives off?
posted by hippybear at 8:05 PM on June 9, 2011


Based on my research, it appears that Tracy Morgan has two upcoming gigs for his Black and Blue comedy tour.

July 2, 2011: MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods

August 6, 2011: St. George Theater

Seeing as how his publicist, Nicole Chabot, has responded "No comment" (with the Rhyman Auditorium in Nashville distancing itself from association), it would appear that Morgan isn't interested in being held accountable for his words and actions.

An email can be easily deleted or ignored. Flooding the MGM Grand and the St. George Theater with physical matter demonstrating why Morgan's response is an inappropriate position in the 21st century -- and this means clogging their fax machines and their mailboxes with letters -- would seem to be the appropriate move to counter this hateful and homophobic episode. The only way that Morgan will respond is if this affects his income and the people who book him understand that they cannot profit from homophobic comics.

Here are some helpful addresses to get started:

Foxwoods Resort Casino
350 Trolley Line Blvd
Mashantucket, CT
Fax: 860-312-4089

St. George Theatre
35 Hyatt Street
Staten Island, NY 10301
Fax: 718-442-2935
posted by ed at 8:08 PM on June 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maybe he should put his money where his mouth is and decide to be gay for a while.

Now, I can't claim to know what goes on in another man's mind - but I've been to art school. I ran with the Slam Poets for a long while. I did Rocky Horror and the local college's gaming club. I have a pretty well developed gaydar for a straight guy.

Tracy Morgan? Ping! Ping! Ping!

The new term in AIDS advocacy is MSM - men who have sex with men. It removes lifestyle and aesthetic and political considerations, and boils it down to what is, actually is.

So I'm not going to use gay anymore, I'm going to use MSM/WSW. (Transgender can and should be its own topic. )
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:16 PM on June 9, 2011


'Live every week like it's shark week' is still a good motto.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:33 PM on June 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


So I'm not going to use gay anymore, I'm going to use MSM/WSW.

I don't think you get to decide how a culture you're not part of is referred to.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:20 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


However, they do get to decide how they refer to a culture they're not a part of.
posted by LogicalDash at 9:25 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is vile. I hope none of his kids are gay.
posted by subdee at 9:27 PM on June 9, 2011


Homophobia is huge in the black community, unfortunately.

This came up a lot after Prop 8, and I don't think it's very fair.

In the first place, it isn't like the black community has any monopoly on homophobia. (For what it's worth, the last guy to call me a faggot was white.)

In the second place, many demographic features vary with racial identification, including median income, educational attainment, and religiosity, each of which correlates (some positively, some negatively) with views about LGBT issues. Even if surveys show more support for homophobic views among black respondents than others, the respondents' race may be the least significant feature in determining their views. In fact, without having looked at survey data, I'll bet money that the high religiosity community has a problem with LGBT folk, and that their uneven distribution across racial lines is a better explanation of variations in homophobia among racial groups.

In the third place, and related to the fact that people are members in more than one community, being black and being queer are not mutually exclusive. Morgan isn't, so far as I know, talking about the LGBT folk in the black community in particular; he's blasting LGBT across the board. The salient community for Morgan's rant isn't the black community, it's the straight community--or at least the straight-identifying community.

The new term in AIDS advocacy is MSM - men who have sex with men. It removes lifestyle and aesthetic and political considerations, and boils it down to what is, actually is.
Says you. What do you tell self-identified gay virgins? Or bisexuals in exclusive, opposite-sex relationships who may or may not have sex with a partner of the same sex again? Or "ex" gays who become celibate, with or without a beard? How they identify and who they desire are what actually is as much as sex (and how do you define that? Is third base enough? Second?)

I don't know what you mean by aesthetic considerations, but identification is always political. That's why they started using MSM in the first place--widespread and cross-cultural homophobia resulted in lots of people who were reluctant to identify as anything other than straight with a variety of different rules about what did and did not disqualify them.
posted by Marty Marx at 9:30 PM on June 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


cut myself off
...what did and did not disqualify them made it necessary to create a category that focused on the activity relevant to sexually transmitted diseases, i.e. sex. But the reasons for identifying (yourself or someone else) as MSM are no less political than the reasons for identifying as anything else.
posted by Marty Marx at 9:36 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is Tracy Morgan we're talking about. Does anyone actually take anything he says seriously? Look, so-called 'celebrities' say horribly offensive, hurtful, and closed-minded thngs every day. The media reports these inane blatherings back to us, and we get ourselves in a tizzy. Most celebrities are worthless. What they think, their beliefs, their opinions should have no importance in our lives (okay, unless they are filled with an overwhelmingly positive, thoughtful message.. dignity, respect, love.. you know, nice things). So, some moron thoughtlessly says something stupid? It's unfortunate, but making that person (who will ultimately remain totally clueless about what was wrong with their original statement) apologize is pointless. You can't rehabilitate a racist or shame a homophobe into changing his or her view. Not usually. These people are adults. It's not like telling a kid that it's not okay to bully. Instead of giving Tracy Morgan.. or Mel Gibson.. or Charlie Sheen.. or whoever the new celebrity baddie is.. extra media attention, they should be ignored. These people don't deserve the added attention or notoriety. By giving them more media attention, we're encouraging these stupid outbursts, and encouraging and paving the way for more stupid celebrity outbursts. We've let the media make celebrity news more important than real news, and it's become such an ingrained part of our society that we've legitimized their behavior. If we must react, we should be taking back or, at least, reducing the power, influence, and prestige that celebrities have (but usually don't deserve, in the first place).
posted by Mael Oui at 9:57 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think you get to decide how a culture you're not part of is referred to.

I don't think you get to decide which culture someone decides they're a part of. If they have sex with other people of the same gender, for whatever reason they choose, it means only that they have sex with another consenting adult. It does not make them part of a community, it does not obligate them to pick sides in political debates, it does not not define them in any meaningful way.

This isn't the gender-preference version of "color blindness" - this is a way to identify and protect those who may not even realize they're at risk of HIV or gay-bashing.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:59 PM on June 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think that Tracy Morgan often goes for the lowest common denominator joke...so that even cavemen can get it.

How about Tracey Jordan in "white face" as Thomas Jefferson and all the other roles like a Peter Sellers movie?

Genius
posted by Chekhovian at 10:05 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


By giving them more media attention, we're encouraging these stupid outbursts, and encouraging and paving the way for more stupid celebrity outbursts. We've let the media make celebrity news more important than real news, and it's become such an ingrained part of our society that we've legitimized their behavior.

This point was the setup for a great 'Tracey Jordan on Larry King' gag, and might even be the reason for his character.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:10 PM on June 9, 2011


it does not not define them in any meaningful way. . . . this is a way to identify and protect those who may not even realize they're at risk of HIV or gay-bashing.

Sounds meaningful to me.
posted by Marty Marx at 10:11 PM on June 9, 2011


Some people in this thread are saying "Sure he may be a homophobe but he's still hilarious." That may be true. I recall laughing my ass off over Eddie Murphy when he was at his peak in the 1980s. And he was scarily funny -- the edge he had in many of his routines was palpable, and it was miles beyond anything I'd ever heard. (I'd not heard any Richard Pryor at this point.) But at the same time, it scared me in a much different way that fellow high school kids expected me to be all ha-ha about his "Faggots" routine, which had the distinction of being right on target in some ways about the panic that some straight men have about being ogled by gay men and at the same time also had the ability to render that panic acceptable because it was being voiced by a public figure and a celebrity. It was like if I didn't like "Faggots" I was some kind of faggot or something. Of course it's 30 years later and things have changed but it's hard not to trace how Tracy Morgan's shtick here seems inspired by the same panic that fed "Faggots." And how it takes that panic to a whole different level of intensity that makes the original "Faggots" look mild.

And no, Mael Oui, you don't "ignore" celebrities because they're vapid, any more than you ignore the "inane blatherings" of a Rick Santroum or a Michele Bachmann. Whether they're celebrities or politicians, they are public figures and as such what they say has an impact, most of all on the kids who absorb their shit and decide that because Tracy Morgan or Justin Bieber or someone else famous said it or put it on their Facebook page or tweeted it, it's okay to bully, demean, harass, or physically attack someone they perceive to be gay.

It does not make them part of a community, it does not obligate them to pick sides in political debates, it does not not define them in any meaningful way.

It defines me in a meaningful way. If for no other reason in the world than that at this point in American history, the way I define myself -- as gay, homosexual, whatever you want to call me -- means that I have no access to a hell of a lot of legal rights and benefits that you as a straight man do have access to if you're conjugally joined with someone. And that does oblige me to pick sides in political debates.
posted by blucevalo at 10:16 PM on June 9, 2011 [14 favorites]


As great as Community and 30 Rock are, I'm surprised that no one's called out either show for a lot of rampant homophobia. Everyone just plays the Dean for laughs even though he's a total caricature. Ken Jeong's character too, but, well I suppose Asian males have to start somewhere for media representation.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:19 PM on June 9, 2011


I saw Tracy Morgan do stand-up about 5-6 years ago, and I really didn't enjoy it. The entire act was pretty much just about sex and bodily functions and generally being as gross/offensive as possible - really not my type of humor. I have no idea if TM is really a homophobe or not, but he definitely has a history of just irritating people rather than actually making them laugh.
posted by naoko at 10:35 PM on June 9, 2011


It defines me in a meaningful way.

Yes, but you are not a universal representative of those who chose to have sex with people of the same gender. Others do not want or wish long term relationships with people of the same gender - and here's the kicker - more of them would if it didn't mean they would have to be shoe-horned into a political or social self-identification.

Do not confuse your experience with the experience of others, unless you want to punish men or women who have sex within their gender without identifying themselves as being part of your predefined social group.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:44 PM on June 9, 2011


My point is that what celebrities say SHOULDN'T have such an impact on people. We shouldn't be thinking, 'well, since [insert name] said this, it's okay for me to say that, too, now.' I know that, as a society that obsesses over celebrities, athletes, and other big-name faces, we're too far gone, so this is just completely naive, wishful thinking. But, the fact that we've let the cult of celebrity get to the point where some random person who just happens to be on tv can say whatever he or she wants and we give them the power and supposed credibility to have their hate mean something is... just so sad. Of course, it's not okay to bully, demean, harass, or attack someone because of their (definite or perceived) sexuality... OR gender, race/ethnicity, religion, body shape/physical appearance, or handicap. But how did we get to the point where (for instance) a parent, who has not in any way encouraged -- through word or deed -- the mistreatment of another human being, has less of an influence over their child than a celebrity?

An insincere apology from the celebrity may not have an effect over the hero-worshipping individual whose opinion has been shaped by their stupid comment. So, I don't think giving more attention to the celebrity IS the correct solution. Really. A parent sitting down with their kid and telling them that just because so-and-so said it doesn't make it okay? That's a start. Once again, I know that's completely naive because I'm starting to think that many parents don't play that kind of role in their children's lives. And, well, you'd THINK, that an adult should know better.
posted by Mael Oui at 10:50 PM on June 9, 2011


Apocryphon, Dean Pelton's sexuality isn't that clearcut. And when you take away the assumption that he's gay (because personally I don't see him as gay, I see him as a bisexual furry/cosplay enthusiast), then I'm not sure where the rampant homophobia comes in.

I'm not sure I see the Asian caricature, either, but I understand that as a white woman I'm probably not going to pick up on some things like that, so maybe that's flying under my radar. However, I'm kind of a giant Community fangirl and since I've never noticed blatant racism I'm suddenly really worried about whether I'm missing something obviously offensive. I found this post at 8Asians about the racism in Community, and while I can't really critique the points the author makes about racism toward Asians specifically, this part in the middle really jumped out at me:

"There is also a pattern I noticed in the show’s writing of all the main characters’ backgrounds and how they came to be at Greendale Community College:
• Jeff’s falsification of his law degree was discovered  and now he has to get a real one.
• Britta is a white woman who dropped out of high school to impress Radiohead, joined the Peace Corp, and did random stuff like foot modeling.
• Abed is half-Arabic and half-white (but looks Arabic) sent by his dad to prepare him to run the family falafel business. He also has some form of autism/Asperger’s and his American mom had left his Arabic dad.
• Troy is a Black star high school quarterback who was not able to face the pressure of the college football draft and deliberately injured himself.
• Pierce is a white retired moist towelette magnate just looking for something to do.
• Shirley is a Black divorcee and single mother who missed out on her education before due to motherhood.
• Annie is a Jewish overachiever-wannabe who dropped out of high school after getting hooked on pills, ‘little Annie Adderall’.

The white characters (Jeff, Britta, Annie, Pierce) are all aspirational despite getting into trouble, while the non-white characters (Abed, Troy, Shirley) all suffer from victimization of some sort."


The funny thing is, my perception of the characters is completely the opposite of this blog author's perception. I'm not sure where the aspirational bit comes in for the white characters -- to me, when you look at the descriptions the blog author wrote, they're pretty pathetic. They all had privilege and they squandered it, and they're all at rock-bottom. The characters of color, on the other hand, are amazing. Shirley was a stay at home mom until she kicked her cheating husband to the curb and went back to school to "get what's mine", as she said in an early episode. Abed stood up to his domineering father and started taking film classes, to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a director. Troy is slowly letting go of his old identity as lunkheaded jock, and finding a new identity as he plays with expressive art forms like dance and theater. All the characters (except Pierce) have grown and changed and become better people since the show began, but I honestly never considered the characters of color to be victimized and belittled the way this blog author does.
posted by palomar at 11:05 PM on June 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


I recall laughing my ass off over Eddie Murphy when he was at his peak in the 1980s. And he was scarily funny -- the edge he had in many of his routines was palpable, and it was miles beyond anything I'd ever heard. (I'd not heard any Richard Pryor at this point.) But at the same time, it scared me in a much different way that fellow high school kids expected me to be all ha-ha about his "Faggots" routine, which had the distinction of being right on target in some ways about the panic that some straight men have about being ogled by gay men and at the same time also had the ability to render that panic acceptable because it was being voiced by a public figure and a celebrity.


I kid the homosexuals a lot... Coz they're homosexuals.

I fuck with everybody. I don't give a fuck if they're... Just like I'm... I don't mean anything by it.

You can play tennis with a gay person. Really!

Just after the game you say: "I'm gonna get a beer, what's you gonna do ?"

>>"I think I'm gonna suck some guy's dick."

"Well, I'll see you later! You go suck that dick, I'm gonna have the beer."
posted by uncanny hengeman at 11:06 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Homophobia is huge in the black community, unfortunately.

This came up a lot after Prop 8, and I don't think it's very fair.
"

It is, somewhat. I think part of it is that, honestly, white straight people get to coast on normative privilege (there's too many of us for the homophobes to be anything but just regular homophobes), and that African American culture codes homophobia in a different way, and so the differences stick out and make it seem like it's significant and notable instead of just "other."

Churches play a different role in black culture than they do in white culture, and even otherwise progressive black celebrities are generally regressive socially, in part because there's a (often legitimate) narrative of blame. I've had more than one black guy tell me earnestly that there are no gay black people, or that white people introduced homosexuality as a plot to weaken black communities.

And because of the outsized political role that churches play in black culture, there's a lot less willingness to call out homophobia, especially because it is fairly well supported by the Bible (along with plenty of other random prejudice — think about how far we've come on racism in the last 50 years, then think about how far we must have come in the last 2000). So idiots that might have gotten their reins jerked in broader ("white") culture don't have as much of that in black culture.

This isn't to say that there aren't gay black folks, or that blacks are inherently more homophobic than whites (or Asians or Latinos, all of which have culturally-bound forms of homophobia), just that homophobia is a lot more normative in black culture.

"You can't rehabilitate a racist or shame a homophobe into changing his or her view. Not usually. These people are adults."

Dude, the guy who ran the NOM Marriage Express finally realized that gay folks are people based mostly on how many came out and shamed him. Since the most effective way to combat homophobia is through exposure, I'm hoping that this prompts some people near Tracy to have a firm talk with him about why this shit isn't cool.
posted by klangklangston at 11:23 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Dean acts flaming as hell. He is hinted as having anonymous restroom sex and at gas stops. He is portrayed as a pervert. I'm not LGBT myself, but there's something unsettlingly offensive about all of that, I'm sure.

Ken Jeong's character isn't so much a caricature as he is a stock character for Asian males in U.S. media- a sexless (or else lustful) unheroic buffoon. But then, Community isn't exactly the show to break stereotypes of minor minorities, I suppose. It's really just carrying on a trend.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:23 PM on June 9, 2011


He is portrayed as a pervert.

Yeah, exactly. A pervert, but no specific orientation.

I'll agree that Dean Pelton is the butt of a lot of jokes. But it's specifically him they're poking fun at, not his orientation. It's like this: I'm fat, and I recently burned my chin eating a slice of very hot cheese pizza and ended up with a small scar. My friends make fun of me, not because I'm fat and fat people deserve derision when they burn themselves on cheese pizza, but because they know me and I'm constantly accidentally burning myself on things and am covered in burn scars.

Can you see the distinction?
posted by palomar at 11:52 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


(to clarify, i do not believe fat people deserve derision cheese pizza et cetera very sleepy wheee)
posted by palomar at 11:54 PM on June 9, 2011


Ken Jeong's character isn't so much a caricature as he is a stock character for Asian males in U.S. media- a sexless (or else lustful) unheroic buffoon.

Name any human character in anything that cannot be uncharitably characterized as either sexless or lustful.
posted by kafziel at 11:56 PM on June 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I concede that I had a pretty failed attempt at summarizing the offensiveness of his character. This does a better job of it than me (wrt to his character in The Hangover, which is pretty much all of his characters aside from foul-mouthed doctor from Knocked Up).

In either case, apologies for the digression. But I still hold that neither 30 Rock nor Community are paragons of progressiveness in television, just because would-be hip middle class white progressives watch it. I watch the shows and maintain their comedic genius, but even I have reservations about some of the portrayals.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:14 AM on June 10, 2011


I'll agree that Dean Pelton is the butt of a lot of jokes. But it's specifically him they're poking fun at, not his orientation.

I think the problem there is that when he's the only non-hetero character on the show, it's hard to separate the foibles of his character from his sexuality. So many of the jokes made at his expense are that he's a pervert. We live in a society where non-heteros are widely perceived as perverts. There are no non-pervert non-hetero characters on Community.

By the same token, we live in a society where Asian males in media are portrayed in not very heroic ways, other than for kung fu master types. Ken Jeong's entire career has been based on playing the same buffonish character. Community is simply a continuation of that. Here's the view of an Asian American actor.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:24 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are no non-pervert non-hetero characters on Community.

Troy's into butt stuff, Jeff likes nipple play.
posted by palomar at 12:27 AM on June 10, 2011


dammit, hit post by accident.

Anyway, there are two small examples of other "perversions" (in the limited scope allowed by network tv) evident in characters on Community.

I just don't agree with your positions on the show. Sorry.
posted by palomar at 12:31 AM on June 10, 2011


The Dean is the only one primarily characterized by kinkiness. Chang too to some extent, I suppose. Other characters having hints of such deviance are just exceptions. Unless it's Star-burns. It's just Star-burns.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:32 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Woah. Rory Marinich. God Damned Spoiler alerts would be appreciated.
posted by seanyboy at 12:51 AM on June 10, 2011


The character of Shirley is often portrayed as a stereotypical devoutly Christian black woman -- intolerant of others, judgemental, domineering, manipulative, and violent. Where is the outrage for her?

The character of Annie is often portrayed as a stereotypical "Jewish mother" type of woman -- nagging, demanding, manipulative (a common trope for female characters), controlling, overly involved in the lives of her friends (in lieu of children). Where is the outrage for her?

Every character in Community is at times portrayed in a stereotypical fashion. That's kind of what the show does. It takes these tropes and stereotypes and hackneyed ideas we've seen a thousand times and it sort of flips them around and does something a little different with them.

I honestly think if you've been watching the show from the beginning and you don't see that, you're missing the whole point.
posted by palomar at 12:57 AM on June 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Adding to palomar's point, I think what they've done with Jeff in particular is amazing. He started out as a generic lawyer asshole, but he's "matured" (or the reverse of that) into a weird generic stuff-white-people-like kind of guy. He reminds me at times of Dave Chappelle's impressions of various generic "white men". At first I hated it because in a way it makes him more of a flat character, but now I kind of love it as a bit of revenge for the ubiquitous sassy, fat black lady I cringe to watch (Shirley, and, coincidentally, Tracy Jordan's wife Angie are the only exceptions).

Jeff's turned into the white male version of a walking stereotype which is rarely seen on tv -- usually only as the result of poor characterization. But I don't think that's the case here and so I love it as much as it disturbs me; in fact, I love it because it disturbs me.
posted by lesli212 at 2:00 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised at how many people are dismissing Tracy Morgan's rant as a harmless expression of his opinion. It seemed to be overtly violent, and I don't think I'm stretching if I say that there were probably a few anti-gay bullies in the audience who had their convictions further validated, which is pretty dangerous. Sure, you might be able to take what he says and realize it's just a joke or a character, but someone who beats up on gay kids in his spare time might not be able to make that distinction. Of course he's entitled to his homophobic views (as much as I may disagree with them), but it seems to me that he crossed the line when he talked about stabbing his hypothetical gay son to death.
posted by Rickalicioso at 4:09 AM on June 10, 2011


seanyboy, did you not see the big (SPOILER WARNING)? Because I thought that was a pretty God-damned spoiler alert.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:34 AM on June 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


re: Raw

Methinks the Eddie doth protest too much...
(that's just my theory, anyway.)
posted by overeducated_alligator at 6:27 AM on June 10, 2011


Slap*Happy: Do not confuse your experience with the experience of others, unless you want to punish men or women who have sex within their gender without identifying themselves as being part of your predefined social group.

What experience am I confusing with the experience of others? Who's punishing anyone? I don't get what your point is. How is "MSM" or any other label any less stigmatizing than "gay" in the universe of men who think that men just don't have sex with other men, period, because, you know, it's gay? How is "MSM" any less of a "social identification" than "gay" or "queer" or "homosexual"?

On another note, Morgan has apparently been dropping the "gay isn't a choice" thing into his routine for quite a while .....
posted by blucevalo at 7:52 AM on June 10, 2011


I love much of the humour in this thread, but it is such an emotional roller coaster ride to digest this and this thread on the same day...
posted by Theta States at 8:08 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Methinks the Eddie doth protest too much...
(that's just my theory, anyway.)


mine too
posted by nathancaswell at 8:19 AM on June 10, 2011


Blucevalo, I believe the point is that "MSM" is specifically and intentionally not a synonym for for "gay", "queer", etc. It isn't a label for a cultural group any more than "people who wear blue jeans" is; it's just a category that—by definition—people either belong to or don't, based on their behavior alone, without regard to their identity, culture, politics, etc. IMHO it's a great word to use in contexts like science or medicine, and pretty useless elsewhere.
posted by shponglespore at 8:45 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I quite like Portlandia, which appears to be a parody of Metafilter users.
posted by Artw at 8:49 AM on June 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Re: Community, I'd say that Britta is more the generic "stuff white people like" person than Jeff. Her attempts at being "good" through being liberal/enlightened mostly fail, barring some exceptions.

Jeff's still a manipulative, deceitful, conceited sleazy lawyer type, but the stereotype is upended by the fact that he's not only basically a good guy*, but also that he's not the main character of the show any more. Abed is. Jeff's attempts at master manipulation and inspiring speeches sometimes work and sometimes fail, but Abed is the "fuller" person with more honest desires.

A similar thing happened between Britta and Annie. Annie is less outspoken and less assertive, but she's more sympathetic and relatable than Britta most of the time, and I'm glad that the stories have focused more on her.

I'm pretty impressed with Community in how Dan Harmon has apparently tricked NBC into making a show about a nerdy, autistic Pakistani guy and a neurotic young woman who isn't simply some sort of Manic Pixie Dream Girl or equivalent.



* Chaotic Good to be precise. Also, I'm glad to see a CG TV character who isn't just a Robin Hood clone.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:05 AM on June 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Well, I'll see you later! You go suck that dick, I'm gonna have the beer."

Damn, I miss Eddie Murphy doing stand-up. I curse the day his accountant pointed out that he could make a truckload of money doing light comedies.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:21 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyway, on the topic of Morgan: What he said is basically inexcusable, but I'm tempted to because of Tracy Morgan's life before he hit it big with comedy and SNL, where Lorn Michaels and Tina Fey took an interest in him. It seems like Fey is still a pretty big part of his life, and maybe she can talk some sense into him and get him to apologize. An apology wouldn't really do much, but it'd be nice to see him take the effort. It does make me wonder if they'll ever address the issue on 30 Rock, since it seems like something that's within the realm of possibility.
posted by codacorolla at 9:24 AM on June 10, 2011


I've been writing that episode in the thread this entire time. At least two scripts a season have to be spec, right?
posted by The Whelk at 9:26 AM on June 10, 2011


The character of Shirley is often portrayed as a stereotypical devoutly Christian black woman -- intolerant of others, judgemental, domineering, manipulative, and violent.

Actually, I'm more outraged by the apparent underappearance of her character. Aside from the pregnancy cycle, she doesn't really get many funny lines in most episodes. It's like the writers don't know what to do with her.

The character of Annie is often portrayed as a stereotypical "Jewish mother" type of woman -- nagging, demanding, manipulative (a common trope for female characters), controlling, overly involved in the lives of her friends (in lieu of children). Where is the outrage for her?

That's because Annie's character is primarily naive goody-good schoolgirl ingénue, not a dominant Jewish mother.

I'm not so much outraged by Ken Jeong's character as I am disappointed that it's simply a continuation of his career. It shows that for all of its brilliance, Community isn't breaking many boundaries. I am somewhat shocked that there hasn't been outrage over the character of the Dean, because the character is like gay minstrelsy, in more ways than one.

It takes these tropes and stereotypes and hackneyed ideas we've seen a thousand times and it sort of flips them around and does something a little different with them.

Where is the flip for Chang? Or for Dean Pelton? Perhaps they are forthcoming, but I doubt it.

I honestly think if you've been watching the show from the beginning and you don't see that, you're missing the whole point.

I started watching around midway through the first season, because every hot excellent NBC comedy has a weak first season.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:26 AM on June 10, 2011


Apocryphon, I said what I did about Shirley and Annie's characters because I wanted to point out to you that if you look hard enough, you can find something in each character's portrayal to be outraged about.

There will be no "flip" "forthcoming" in my opinion on the Dean's character or Senor Chang, because I don't agree with you, as I stated earlier. You're probably not seeing outrage over the Dean because (surprise) people aren't seeing what you're seeing.
posted by palomar at 9:42 AM on June 10, 2011


Oh, I see, you meant "where is the flip" as in, you don't see it.

I think you're getting too mired down in your outrage to see it, frankly. And I can't explain it to you, unfortunately, because it's plainly obvious to me that all of these characters are beloved by their creators, and they're all treated lovingly, but you insist that you cannot see it. So I'm sorry, but this argument you want to have is fruitless until you let go of your misdirected outrage.
posted by palomar at 9:45 AM on June 10, 2011


I'm not outraged. I'm disappointed in the Ken Jeong stock character, and bemused by the lack of outrage over Dean Pelton. There is truly humor to be had, but there is something disconcertingly offensive over the latter. There are gay characters in sitcoms who have jokes at their expense for more than their sexuality- Oscar on The Office, Tobias on Arrested Development. The Dean just looks like a relentless caricature. You don't have to go searching for stereotypes to see it.

If you have to ask if it’s homophobic, haven’t you already answered your question?
posted by Apocryphon at 9:54 AM on June 10, 2011


Tracey has issued a statement on the issue.
posted by The Violet Cypher at 9:56 AM on June 10, 2011


I was also at the show and I agree with zoetrope. That part of the show sounded like the ranting of a scared, lonely, broken old man trying to put up a front. The stuff about women, bullies, and homosexuals seemed like a way to show how he was still "a real man."
posted by catastropher at 9:56 AM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Dean just looks like a relentless caricature.

Apocryphon, as I said way way upthread, I don't see what you see. I don't believe any character on the show is singled out for more negative portrayal than any other character.
posted by palomar at 10:12 AM on June 10, 2011


Re: Tracy Morgan's apology -- I'm heartened to see he didn't go the non-apology route, with an "I'm sorry if I offended anyone" kind of phrasing.
posted by palomar at 10:15 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone's off their Homocil...
posted by Twicketface at 10:18 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm heartened to see he didn't go the non-apology route, with an "I'm sorry if I offended anyone" kind of phrasing.

Really? That's pretty much what it sounds like to me.
"I want to apologize to my fans and the gay & lesbian community for my choice of words at my recent stand-up act in Nashville. I’m not a hateful person and don’t condone any kind of violence against others,” Morgan said in a statement. “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."
"My friends know what's in my heart". Yeah, I think you revealed what's in there dude.
posted by cashman at 10:24 AM on June 10, 2011


Yeah, really. Do you see an "I'm sorry IF I offended anyone" in there? Because that's specifically what I said I was happy not to see. I didn't say it was a perfect, glowing apology and I commend him and praise him to the skies. I said I was glad he didn't go the non-apology route, which is what so many other public figures do when called upon to apologize for something. "I'm sorry if I offended anyone" is a pile of weasel-words. "Even in a comedy club this clearly went too far and was not funny in any context," combined with, "I want to apologize to my fans and the gay and lesbian community for my choice of words" is at least better than that, if imperfect.

You know the saying, the perfect is the enemy of the good? When someone says homophobic shit in the guise of a joke, and then at least has the grace to admit what they said was nowhere near funny and should not have been said, I figure that's something I can live with.
posted by palomar at 10:37 AM on June 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


i might be being a fanboy but thats a pretty solid apology... i don't really know how much more is reasonable to expect... short of him saying he was going into homophobe rehab or something
posted by nathancaswell at 10:53 AM on June 10, 2011


Did I mention I thought he was literally borderline mentally ill? Of course his apology sucks shit. He doesn't care. Honey badger don't give a shit. It just takes what it wants. Tracey Morgan is the honey badger of comedy.
posted by GuyZero at 10:56 AM on June 10, 2011


I always thought Honey badger guy had a lot in common with Brian Fellows' Safari planet, actually.
posted by nathancaswell at 11:22 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I trashed Tracy Morgan in this thread, but I think his apology was pretty classy (as those things go).
posted by blucevalo at 12:09 PM on June 10, 2011


Ken Jeong's entire career has been based on playing the same buffonish character.
Will Farrell's entire career has been based on playing the same buffonish character.
Seth Rogen's entire career has been based on playing the same buffonish character.
Joe Rogen's entire career has been based on playing the same buffonish character.
Chevy Chase's entire career has been based on playing the same buffonish character.
Tom Cruise's entire career has been based on playing the same buffonish character.
GWB's entire career has been based on playing the same buffonish character.
Steve Martin's entire (later) career has been based on playing the same buffonish character.
Xenomorph's entire career has been based on playing the same buffonish character.


Everyone cashes in on buffoonery, until they can't anymore, or they luck into finding that one gig that makes their buffoonery sweet, and charming. It is hard to be "serious" for a whole production... you can almost see where the star wars actors start cracking up because they are making a movie that seemed (at the time, moreso) completely absurd, you can also hear complaints about this in many DVD commentary tracks. Note the cases where the opposite transition occurs.

People aren't BORN thespians... THEY CHOOSE IT! The lifestyle of a thespian is hard, and complex, thespians must take ignorant jeers, and peanut gallery hatred of so called 'high-class' Shakespeare, and then they must LEARN HOW to take make-believe seriously, they must spend lifetimes apprenticed to their craft and community of fellow Thespians! But like so many people note, being a thespian isn't just some "easy choice", there is debate about this, but the choice to become a thespian is certainly not one to take lightly.

If you have to ask if it’s homophobic, haven’t you already answered your question
No.
You have entered a discussion.
I can't tell if this is a joke, because when Britta says this very thing... it is IN HER OWN SORT OF INSULATION THAT THERE IS HUMOR (you can laugh with or at Britta when she says this... because it isn't so cut and dried, [unrelated, but related, Britta is a complex character too, she want's to help, she loves people, and every time she steps out on a limb, it seems to crack beneath her [becoming friends with 'a lesbian', helping Abed with film class costs]).

If you think that the "white" characters are all portrayed as peaches... you might not have seen many episodes... they look like jerks, and failures, and weak, and self-centered all the time

Also... the suggestion that only the "whites" are "upwardly mobile", or "ambitious"... um, so, Abed... wanting to be an internationally acclaimed director of films, a creative genius and then not just sitting back... but reaching out and taking his goals in hand... those are the signs of someone who lets the white people take all the fun?

Or the incredible exploration of a male friendship? Where the [obviously] ignorant characters do the whole "odd-mocking" of Troy/Abeds friendship, and they a)don't care, and b) are above it. They show two people having a relationship not obsessed with sex, only on sharing compassion, interests, joy, fun, tragedy, and happiness, along the way helping out each other, and helping each other become better people on the journey of life. Which is what all sorts of relationships ought to strive for, but is so often not shown, promoted, or discussed in the Mainstream cultural media. Regardless of who the two partners are.

You seem to argue "stereotypes" in and of themselves to be "wrong", or "bad". I have to consider an alternative. From an unrelated, but memory jarring book I am reading right now, titled "a practical guide for translators".
There will be people who hold cultural values quite strongly and those who hold them not at all. The attribution of cultural traits to individuals from a given culture is called ‘stereotyping’. The word has negative connotations but you should be aware that stereotyping is not necessarily bad. In fact, it is a natural consequence of the ways in which we communicate.

It is important to note the following about stereotypes:
• Stereotypes are automatic, and cannot be avoided. They are the ways in which we
organise our thinking in new situations.
• Stereotypes are derived from experience with members of other groups or from
secondary sources. In either case, they arise because we have too little accurate information
to go on.
• Stereotypes can be moved closer to reality by increased contact with the group that is
being stereotyped.
• If the stereotyper’s perception of another group is positive or neutral, the stereotype
will believe (wrongly) that the other group is ‘just like us’.
• Stereotypes, in and of themselves, do not lead to miscommunication. The problems
arise if they are inaccurate and are held too rigidly. The predictions made by them will
be wrong, and this will lead to misunderstanding.
If we want to communicate effectively with strangers, we should not seek to avoid
stereotypes. What we need to do is to increase the complexity and accuracy of our
stereotypes. We can do this by constantly questioning them.
I remember a good friend from high-school, who was a young blonde haired woman, she was very pretty, and, to half the people who knew her, and conversed, very smart (my experience of having classes together showed me she was miles beyond me, and many others in terms of intelligence). However, her voice had traits which could, with little difficulty be classified as "valley girl" like, and, of course, there is the "dumb pretty blonde" stereotype, so there was this stereotype of "dumb blonde", which was a label aplied by people who didn't know her well (or at all)... but to those who knew her and spent time, this was easily seen as a "wtf, that doesn't even make sense" thing, awww heck, it is so annoying, but Community actually made this precise point for me, without needing to use real people...

Abed: Do you like Britta?
Jeff: [shrugs] Sure. Who doesn’t?
Abed: Over half the people that meet her. They can be put off by her vacuous mannequin face and her Jodie Foster severity. But you’re different.
Jeff: Well, you know, she’s no barrel of monkeys. She wants everyone to be honest, but she lies to herself. She’s seen the world but doesn’t get it. She has more fights about stuff that doesn’t matter than a YouTube comment section. She’s passionate, which I find stupid but entertaining.
Abed: Attractive?
Jeff: It was only attraction at first because she bothered to play hard to get.
Abed: Hmm.
Jeff: I’m happy with Michelle.
Abed: Yeah, Slater is low maintenance.
Jeff: Mm! The lowest!
Abed: Britta: irritating, impossible, unpredictable, and she didn’t like you so it felt useless to like her. Slater likes you how you are - expects nothing from you. You’re safe from change. And passion.
Jeff: [annoyed, raises voice] Watch it!
Abed: [raises voice as well] Watch what? A phony drunk dial soaked in phony pity that insults Britta even more? Or a believable performance informed by feeling?


Stereotypes can be seen as how everyone start to learn about anything; your first day of art school, before any lessons, you would have stereotypes as to what "art" was all about. First day of Anthropology, you don't "know it". Your first interacial interactions... same thing. But people grow, and just because someone relied on stereotypes yesterday, doesn't mean they will tommorow... people grow. Despite the big myth, people overcome ignorance, and stereotypes. Racists can learn openness, bigots can develop compassion and tolerance.

Point being that no one is Baron Münchhausen, and no one can just "Pull" complete "cultural awareness" out of the swamp of cultural stereotypes by their bootstraps... it is a learning process. Being a modern global-minded human is a series of processes of deepening our pool of stereotypes, you may start with the broadest, then the next step is dispelling those broad ones, and finding that there are ALWAYS clauses, and exceptions... then, once you have dispelled THOSE stereotypes, you realize that even the exeptions have exceptions... and so, it is a series of exceptions (preempting it; the Universe: a series of Stereotypes and exceptions all the way down)

In case you didn't know, Community is actually a beautiful parody/critique/labor of love about Metafilter (yes, metafilter, specifically). The point of the show is that what you see above the surface is just a little bit of any person. What you hate about a person is precisely the thing that someone else will love. What you see, and what someone else sees is tinted by the glasses of different life experiences, varying perspectives.
posted by infinite intimation at 5:16 PM on June 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


The hope being that through openness, truth wins out.
posted by infinite intimation at 5:21 PM on June 10, 2011


Okay palomar. I guess its decent enough.
posted by cashman at 5:42 PM on June 10, 2011


This was the Wanda Sykes thing. It is probably not about the Wanda Sykes thing.

She has commented though.
posted by Artw at 7:57 PM on June 10, 2011


Tina Fey on Tracy Morgan's rant:
I’m glad to hear that Tracy apologized for his comments. Stand-up comics may have the right to ‘work out’ their material in its ugliest and rawest form in front of an audience, but the violent imagery of Tracy’s rant was disturbing to me at a time when homophobic hate crimes continue to be a life-threatening issue for the GLBT Community. It also doesn’t line up with the Tracy Morgan I know, who is not a hateful man and is generally much too sleepy and self-centered to ever hurt another person.

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. The other producers and I pride ourselves on 30 Rock being a diverse, safe, and fair workplace.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:00 PM on June 10, 2011 [13 favorites]


I keep bracing myself for when I find out that Tina Fey is really just a character created to appeal to me and my demographic, played by a calculating phony. And it keeps not happening. Hard.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:21 PM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


That is the best of all possible responses.

Seriously, it's the most tactful way to say " if you do this again you will fired so fast your head will spin"
posted by The Whelk at 10:29 AM on June 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Kevin Rogers (who originally posted the story on Facebook) is asked by CNN to respond to Tracy's apology.

Watch all the way to the end.
posted by palomar at 1:59 PM on June 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Watch all the way to the end.
posted by palomar at 4:59 PM on June 11 [+] [!]


I won't give anything away, but the end made me tear up in a good way. What a good guy.
posted by sweetkid at 3:06 PM on June 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


in case it's not clear, my comment above is about the CNN interview with Kevin Rogers ( not Morgan!)
posted by sweetkid at 3:08 PM on June 11, 2011


Chris Rock Defends Tracy Morgan’s Homophobic Rant (and later changes his tune); Wanda Sykes Condemns It

Tracy Morgan's Anti-Gay Rant Shrugged Off at L.A. Pride (or not really)
posted by hippybear at 4:23 PM on June 11, 2011


Well that's a disgustingly misleading headline. Chris Rock didn't defend a single thing Morgan said - called it "foul inappropriate shit", in fact. What he defended was the ability to say it on stage without that being a crime, which is what Wanda Sykes seems to be pushing for.
posted by kafziel at 4:44 PM on June 11, 2011


What he defended was the ability to say it on stage without that being a crime, which is what Wanda Sykes seems to be pushing for.

Wanda Sykes' mention of TN lawmakers was referring to the state's "don't say gay" bill.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 6:24 PM on June 11, 2011


"I do believe in free speech, but for a youth in TN or any other numerous place, Tracy just yelled, ‘Fire,’ in a crowded theater."

While a misquote and gross misinterpretation, this is the classic example of saying you think the speech in question should be criminalized.
posted by kafziel at 7:44 PM on June 11, 2011


Roundup of commentary on Tracy Morgan's remarks, including a statement from openly gay co-star (and amazing singer) Cheyenne Jackson.

An openly gay producer on the movie Tracy is currently filming comes to his defense.

A commenter on AMERICAblog explains what's wrong with Tracy's apology.
posted by palomar at 10:40 PM on June 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Chris Rock reverses himself on controversial Tracy Morgan routine: 'I don't support it at all'
posted by hippybear at 10:30 AM on June 12, 2011


Tracy Morgan speaks candidly with Russell Simmons, expresses a lot more remorse about his homophobic statements.
posted by palomar at 4:06 PM on June 13, 2011


One of the lame things about this is that it's pretty hard for me to take any apologies in instances like these seriously. They inevitably read like PR moves rather than anything sincere. And that sucks, because then he's homophobic and I'm cynical.
posted by neuromodulator at 10:18 PM on June 13, 2011


Patrick Stickles from Titus Andronicus weighs in

It hurts me deep inside to mark down onto the SHIT LIST my one-time favorite TV comedian Tracy Morgan, whose homophobic ravings are old news to all of you by now. I don't know what part of this story is the most disgusting, whether it's the horrible rant itself, the pathetic back-pedaling and bending-over-backwards T.Mo is doing to cover his ass now that he sees that nobody is going to have his back when he wants to act like a total shithead, trying to pass off straight up hate speech delivered with no comedic merit or visible humorous intent as "just joking," or, of course, the classic, and classically FUCKIN' BULLSHIT, move of trying to pass off hate as "being a good Christian" or whatever nonsense they're trying to sell us.

Man, what the fuck is going on with the world nowadays? Are we so bored and desperate for "edginess" that we are looking at basic respect and decency between humans as boring milquetoast? I don't care if you are the star of 30 Rock or the hottest rapper on the best record label XL Recordings (yeah, I said it) - using homophobia, or any kind of blind hate, to sell yr shitty product is straight up loathesome and dispicable. Even if yr "just pretending" or it's okay because "words don't mean shit," don't get it twisted - yr hate speech validates real feelings in the hearts of real Americans who might only need the littlest bit of validation to take their madness to the horrid next level, whatever that may be.

And hey! All you studious white bastards who look at this kind of bile as a return to "authenticity" or "real danger in art" or whatever the fuck, you are just as big idiots, and worse, yr a bunch of chickenshits who want to get off vicariously without getting yr hands dirty with all yr "think pieces" and so on. Shame on thee!!

posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:33 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The word is "your", fucko.
posted by kafziel at 6:04 PM on June 14, 2011


using [...] any kind of blind hate, to sell yr shitty product is straight up loathesome and dispicable. Even if yr "just pretending" or it's okay because "words don't mean shit," don't get it twisted - yr hate speech validates real feelings in the hearts of real Americans who might only need the littlest bit of validation to take their madness to the horrid next level, whatever that may be...

That can be said of a lot of top 40 music being released by grrls such as Pink. But that's hatin' on heterosexual men, so that makes it OK.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:49 PM on June 14, 2011


That can be said of a lot of top 40 music being released by grrls such as Pink. But that's hatin' on heterosexual men, so that makes it OK.

wait, what? Grrl power pop anthems are up there with homophobia? I don't think a major problem in the world is that women have too much power.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:03 PM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Grrl power pop anthems are up there with homophobia?

Not what I said, sizzlechest. The quote to which I responded said "ANY KIND of blind hate, to sell yr shitty product." Emphasis mine.

Big kind. Small kind. ANY kind. He did not say equivalent kind.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:17 PM on June 14, 2011


Good on Mr. Andronicus himself, a worthy screed. I'll put one of their albums on today.

And Pink as a peddler of hatred? Good luck with that FPP.
posted by Theta States at 6:17 AM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pink did something like 50 shows in Australia one year. I think that means that we should be a matriarchy by now.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:23 PM on June 15, 2011


So a little bit of hate is OK. Coz people realise it's an act. Therefore we all agree that Patrick Stickles - whoever the fark he is - is a blow hard. Excellent.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 11:24 PM on June 16, 2011


Are you really comparing P!nk's grrrl power schtick to homophobia? Actually, maybe Patrick Stickles will agree with you. I'm not quite as smart as he is.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:25 PM on June 16, 2011


Are you really comparing P!nk's grrrl power schtick to homophobia?

??? That's the exact same question you asked two comments ago. I've already explained that I'm comparing it to Patrick Stickles' shouty quote and nothing more. And while I've got you... can you point me to the "hate." There's none in the FPP.

Gays please note: ya gotta pick your battles more carefully if ya want me to give a shit about your cause.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 11:45 PM on June 16, 2011


hatin' on heterosexual men...
WHO BEAT UP OR OTHERWISE PHYSICALLY, SEXUALLY, OR EMOTIONALLY ABUSE THEIR GIRLFRIENDS...
Despite that being a red herring, and her message actaully not even being about "hatin'" on anyone, merely being one public voice telling those people who are assaulted that they are not alone, nor worthless...

More and more it is not so simply "gays" who "must" "note" anything...
Straight people are getting sick of, and rejecting and denouncing discrimination and popularization of hatred going on in their names. It is fully withing the "rights" of any person, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation or any other aspect to DENOUNCE, REJECT, and OPPOSE things that are done in their names. This kind of threatening, violent rhetoric is directly related to the onging State mandated discrimination that occurs in the USA, which is also absolutely present in other Western nations.

As the continuing, and pervasive discrimination, at both Federal and State levels continues unabated... you will see more "non-gay" people perhaps "overstepping" what any given gay person may "find the will to be offended by in the moment"... and so, if some straight person starts getting shouty with their government operators over what is illegal, counter-constitutional State legislated and approved discrimination, are you seriously going to shout them back? Or tell people to "pick their battles"? Did you do that in the 60's too?

So, like, now you and LIB wrote the same things three times, and I don't know what you are trying to say either. I hate Bee-Stings, is that relevant? Pink has contributed time, creativity, money, and her name to suicide prevention messages, and... I just don't see this "hate" she supposedly espouses. Do you not differentiate between empowerment messages... and disempowerment messages, or hate speech. Telling someone not to give up their life because they were treated like trash by a loved one is not the same as telling someone that they are trash. Sorry.

So you have a problem with LIB's favored pop group there, but them making a comment has zero relevance to the original statements (and if you can't see any "hate" in the original post... how do you match that up with Morgan's co-workers, peers, bosses, and fellow performers calling out hate, and bigotry as the unwelcome sort of hate that it is? Are you suggesting that people who share livelihoods with Morgan [Fey] would just up and "diss" him... for... kicks, notoriety? Tina Fey doesn't need that... she can get attention by not criticizing her co-workers... yet she did, why? Because Morgan's behaviour was really uncivil, and unbecoming of a person who has a platform, and place in society as powerful as he does. How does that make sense? Why would someone whose livelihood depends on Morgan not being fired/dropping out of relevance turn and attack him without real cause?)
posted by infinite intimation at 1:12 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


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