Sunday, 12 June 2011

Hollywood Babble On & On #744: Insert Foot "A" in Mouth "B"

Oh what a tangled web we weave when our brains pack up and leave.

Tracy Morgan, former
SNL cast member, and current co-star of 30 Rock, went on a tirade about gay people during a stand-up performance in Nashville, saying that if he had a gay son he would "get a knife & stab him."

That story shocked and horrified me in two

1. That Morgan would say something nasty and stupid like that in public.

2. That people were actually there to witness it.

While I was shocked, I wasn't surprised.

Morgan has a history of running off at the mouth in directions that have nothing to do with comedy. Personally I suspect that his inability to self-edit comes from the almost constant hype that surrounds his career as he's the second coming of Eddie Murphy (circa 1980s).

Eddie Murphy without the charm, versatility, or much of an audience outside of people who dish out TV awards.

But then again I've never found him particularly funny, mostly a grating, one note performer.

His employers,
30 Rock writer/producer Tina Fey, and network NBC both put out statements condemning his statements but also accepting his apology and not firing him.

That's fine by me.

You see, I'm not going to join any of the calls to fire him from his show, or to censor him. I'm a firm believer in the freedom of speech, including ugly asinine speech like Morgan's. Because if you don't let the assholes be assholes out in the open, they start acting like assholes on the sly, and that's when they go from being nuisances to being real troublemakers.

So what can you do in response to Tracy Morgan's statements?

Easy. Make statements of your own. Use the internet to tell the world that he is an asshole. That is your right. Practice it.

Then just don't give him your money. If he offends you so much, don't watch his TV show, don't pay to see his movies, and don't pay to see him live.

However, judging by the ratings for 30 Rock, and the box office performance of his movies where he's used as a selling point, most people were already doing that before he opened the big hole in the front of his fat head. As for his live shows, well, they might do better because half the audience will be bringing camera-phones in the hope of catching another case of verbal diarrhea that they can sell to TMZ.

Someone once asked me on Twitter how he can mend fences after this. Well, we live in a hyper-sensitive age, and no one in the public really mends fences after something like this. They just get pounded with broken pickets until people get bored, then they move on, not only ignoring their target, but pretty much forgetting them.

Just ask Mel Gibson how this has hurt his career, and pretty much crippled his showing Jodie Foster's Beaver to the American audience.

Morgan's situation is different, because the American audience is not Morgan's target demographic. Thanks to 30 Rock, his target demo is essentially Hollywood, and Hollywood can be harsher on political incorrectness than any other place on the planet.

Morgan has to do something drastic to keep his place as the third lead on the 106th most popular show in America where movie stars go to do cameos to make themselves feel clever. Because if he doesn't, they will find a way to slide him aside until he's out the door, and then he has to rely on the box office winnings of movies like Cop Out.

So here's what he can do to save his career in the eyes of Hollywood.

1. Go gay. Blame the rant on self-hatred, then introduce the world to a new male life partner named Bruce. Then do PSAs about self-hatred leading to hatred of others. Now Morgan might not be willing to go this far to save his job, but there are other options.

2. Rehab. Blame the rant on the drugs and "exhaustion," check into a posh rehab, and then come out cured of not only drug addiction, but addiction to the sound of your own brain farting in public. Perhaps he could share a room with Anthony Weiner.

3. Scream racism. Accuse anyone and everyone who criticizes you of being racist. Nothing shuts up the militantly PC than a good old cry of racism.

4. Go after a Palin. There is nothing Hollywood loves more than going after Sarah Palin. Now anyone who doesn't have this obsession sees it as unseemly, but, if you play your cards right as an anti-Palin, it can keep you working in Hollywood no matter how obnoxious you act. Now to recover from such a massive public shit-storm you need to do something really drastic. The option that hasn't already been used in Hollywood is sucker-punching one of the Palin children as drastic enough, but Kathy Griffin's already got that planned to get a regular slot as a parent on Glee.

Of course, unlike those suggestions, the only real way to avoid having your career wrecked by being an asshole, is to not be an asshole.

Then try being funny.

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