Can Tracy Morgan really win back the trust of anyone after his antigay rant, or have we seen the last of TGS with Tracy Jordan on 30 Rock? --Jeanne O., via the inbox
It's well known that Tracy Morgan cannot speak in an indoor voice, so even when he apologizes, he apologizes big. (Check out his exclusive interview with our own Marc Malkin to see what I'm talking about.)
But will his homophobic rants get him exiled to a place where the only person who can hear him yelling is Tracy Morgan?
The answer is...
Morgan probably isn't to lose his job at NBC's 30 Rock.
The statements released by his effective bosses, Tina Fey and Bob Greenblatt, while appropriately mortified, weren't exactly distancing. Plugged-in TV industry followers tell me that Morgan is likely here to stay, at least, on his hit sitcom.
That puts Morgan ahead of the game when compared with other recent celebu-screw-ups, such as Michael Richards, or, on a larger scale, Mel Gibson, whose repeatedly offensive actions likely have quashed his career for the foreseeable future.
Important note: In both of the above cases, there was audio or video of at least one of the offenses. Not so with Morgan, and that makes a huge difference in the life of a crisis like this.
Finally, Hollywood power agents also inform me this should all boil over sooner rather than later.
"[This crisis] is done, unless something inflames this and Morgan betrays the honesty of his apology or infects this wound," says Wes Stevens of the agency Vox, Inc. "It's healing and will be a minor blemish quickly. He has to meet any more controversy with integrity, authenticity and directness."
In fact, Stevens says, he would be fine representing Morgan himself, "but only after sitting down and ascertaining, from my gut, his genuine feeling about things.
"If I felt he were sincerely sorry and I could reach an understanding of the context of the situation, how this happened, and why, then as a gay man, I could forgive and get back to the work of advocating for his genuine talent as a performer and comedian."
Something tells me that Morgan's poor choice of words will find their way onto an upcoming episode of 30 Rock, with Morgan as the center of a storm of punitive jokes.