So Tracy Morgan’s going back to Nashville for an “I’m sorry I wanted to stab my gay son” tour—brought to you by GLAAD and that national attention that pressured him to do it after his violently anti-gay routine. As part of his public penance, he’ll meet with queer youths in New York, talk with the Nashville audience members he ticked off, film a PSA, and hold a news conference against Tennessee’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Should we make his actions part of a set list that every celebrity must go through whenever they do something anti-gay?
Because it’s still socially acceptable to hate on queers (thanks GOP), certain dumb celebrities are gonna say anti-gay stuff from time to time. We don’t like it, but if Kobe Bryant, Noah Joakim, and Soulja Boy are any indication, we should expect it to happen again… like, before the month is over.
The real danger of celebrities saying anti-gay things is that they contribute to a homophobic atmosphere and encourage fans to participate in similar behavior. Morgan and others can’t undo the effect of their initial actions but that’s OK because (as we’ve said in the past) the occasional anti-gay slur can highlight the pervasive role of homophobia in everyday America. Plus, the public penance process can go a long way towards shifting the public discussion back on how homophobia hurts and how American citizens can fight intolerance.
Ultimately, we’d like “faggot” and violent homophobia to register as high on the “social no-no scale” as saying nigger, kyke, or threatening violence against any other group. People lose their careers over such things and they should.
But until that day, another celebrity slur is just waiting to happen. So perhaps the gay community should just standardize a penance to-do list. That way, anytime some turd burglar steps in it, he or she can have clear steps of how to apologize and give back to the gay community before the gay community even has a chance to get all pissed about it. Then said offender can humbly accept whatever additional hoops their employer would like them to jump and even possibly a well-deserved firing!