Tracy Morgan was out of the hospital Monday and back to work on "30 Rock" Tuesday after collapsing over the weekend in Park City, Utah, altitude 7,000 feet.
"On the set of 30 Rock, just walked past @alecbaldwin and said Top That!," he said Tuesday afternoon on Twitter. (Costar Baldwin made headlines of his own recently when he was kicked off a plane for refusing to stop playing Words With Friends.)
Morgan collapsed at a party at a Creative Coalition event where he'd received an award.
"Superman ran into a little kryptonite," Morgan explained Monday on Twitter. "The high altitude in Utah shook up this kid from Brooklyn."
Ron Nyswaner, co-director of the Sundance film "Predisposed," in which the actor stars, explained things a little more scientifically, citing "altitude sickness combined with his diabetes. And he hadn't eaten. He hadn't had enough water."
Lewis Kay, Morgan's publicist, said drugs and alcohol weren't involved.The actor had a kidney transplant in December 2010.
This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
Tracy Morgan's medical problems still aren't over, it seems, after the "30 Rock" star collapsed following an awards ceremony during the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday night.
Morgan, who has a diabetic condition and underwent a kidney transplant in 2010, was escorted to Park City Medical Center after losing consciousness at the Creative Coalition Spotlight Awards, according to officials in Park City, Utah.
But before tongues started wagging (too late, they already have) Morgan's publicist, Lewis Kay, wanted to be clear that drugs and alcohol played no factor in the star's collapse. Despite TMZ reports that Morgan appeared intoxicated at the awards, Kay said in a statement to the media that "exhaustion and altitude" were to blame.
This year's Sundance Film Festival has been a particularly tough one from a medical standpoint. Bingham Ray, San Francisco Film Society executive director and noted player in the world of indie film, was sent to a Provo hospital late last week after suffering two strokes at the festival.
[Updated, 1:30 p.m. Jan. 23: Ray has died, the Sundance Institute announced Monday. He was 57.
"On behalf of the independent film community here in Park City for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and elsewhere, we offer our support and condolences to his family," the institute said in a statement.]
CNN filmed Morgan on the red carpet immediately before the awards ceremony and passed along reports from eyewitnesses who said the comedian appeared injured or sick even before the show. (Footage of the photo op, including Morgan's comment that the media area was "crazy," is below).
Tracy Morgan returned Tuesday to Nashville, the site of his June 3 stand-up act that contained anti-gay jokes making light of violence aimed at the LGBT community.
Speaking at a press conference with Kevin Rogers, the gay fan who'd been at the show and recounted the comic's upsetting remarks on Facebook, Morgan touched on his recent educational tour with GLAAD and what he's learned from the debacle.
"I don't have a hateful bone in my body. I don't believe that anyone should be bullied or just made to feel bad about who they are," Morgan said.
"I totally feel that, in my heart, I don't care who you love, same sex or not, as long as you have the ability to love."
Before the Nashville appearance, Morgan visited New York's Ali Forney Center to connect with gay teens abandoned by their families because of their sexual orientation.
See Morgan's full statement in the video clip above.
Photo: Tracy Morgan listens to fan Kevin Rogers, left, at a June 21 press conference in Nashville. Rogers recounted Morgan's standup act, followed by apologies and remarks from Morgan on what he's learned in light of the incident. Credit: Mark Humphrey / Associated Press.
Tracy Morgan is still apologizing for a recent series of anti-gay jokes, telling Russell Simmons on Monday that his words were "indefensible" and adding that if he had a gay son, he might "try to love him even more" -- then chiming in with support for same-sex marriage efforts in New York.
He is also planning to meet later this week with a group of gay youths who have been ostracized by their families, according to E! Online, in addition to sitting down with people who've lost friends or family to anti-gay violence.
"When all of this set in, I realized how hurtful my words were," the "30 Rock" star told hip-hop guru Simmons for Global Grind. "Not asking anyone to feel sorry for me or pity me, but I definitely don't want or need people to defend me.
Morgan got an early career break on "Russell Simmons Presents Def Comedy Jam," and in their conversation Simmons told the comic he was "quite disappointed" when he read about Morgan's Nashville material.
"In my heart, I know that the words I used are indefensible," Morgan said. "I appreciate the love from my friends and fans, but I was wrong. Period."
He told Marc Malkin of E! exclusively that after growing up with a disabled brother and a father who died of AIDS, he knew what it was like to be bullied. "My dad wasn't gay, but I also learned about homophobia then because of how people treated people who were sick with that," Morgan said. "Parents should support and love their kids no matter what."
Also on Morgan's itinerary: A trip back to Tennessee next week, where he'll participate with GLAAD in a news conference protesting the state's recently passed "Don't Say Gay" bill outlawing the discussion of homosexuality in public schools before grade nine.
Morgan issued an apology Friday for jokes calling homosexuality a choice, minimizing anti-gay bullying and saying he'd stab his son to death if the boy were gay. Controversy brewed after a detailed Facebook post from a gay fan who'd attended the June 3 show gained attention over the course of several days.
NBC and Tina Fey accepted the apology Friday while reiterating that the jokes had been unacceptable. Some gay-rights groups, however, said it would take more than an apology to end the controversy, with one suggesting Morgan meet with families and friends who'd lost loved ones to anti-gay violence.
"I guess the reason I am successful is because I am so unfiltered," Morgan told Simmons. "And sometimes as a result I say really stupid [things]. The truth is if I had a gay son, I would love him just as much as if he was straight ... I might have to try to love even more because I know of the difficulty that he would have in society."
This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
Tracy Morgan apologized Friday morning for anti-gay jokes delivered at a concert in Nashville, and while several prominent gay civil-rights groups appreciated the words, they said a simple apology wasn't enough.
"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."
The Human Resources Campaign and GLAAD later Friday urged the "30 Rock" and "Saturday Night Live" actor to go beyond a simple apology in the wake of material that reportedly included urging homosexuals to stop "whining" about anti-gay bullying and beat up the bullies instead and a declaration that he'd stab his son to death if he were gay.
"Jokes that make light of violence directed at gay and lesbian youth aren't only offensive, they put our kids in harm's way," GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said in a statement. "Tracy Morgan must not only apologize, but assure us that this won't happen again and send a clear message to Americans that anti-gay violence is no joke."
GLAAD said it offered through Morgan's publicist to arrange a meeting between the actor and families who have lost children to anti-gay violence "in order to help him understand exactly why his rant touched so deep a nerve."
PFLAG — Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays — also weighed in, with PFLAG National executive director Jody Huckaby saying, "As a celebrity, Mr. Morgan needs to understand that his words have power; inciting violence against gay and lesbian kids in the name of comedy — stating that he would stab his own son to death if he was gay — is absolutely unconscionable. A simple apology is not enough."
Meanwhile, his "30 Rock" executive producer Tina Fey expressed shock but also praised Morgan's apology in a statement that humorously pointed out the many things that would not be available to him if gay people did not work on their show.
Fey, winner of a 2011 GLAAD Media Award, said she understands how comics often work through material on stage in very raw form, but was pleased to see the apology.
"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," she said in a statement. "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."
Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, said that while the apology was appreciated and the network recognizes an artist's freedom of expression, reckless statements aren't cool, no matter the context. "Unfortunately," he said in a statement, "Tracy's comments reflect negatively on both "30 Rock" and NBC -- two very all-inclusive and diverse organizations -- and we have made it clear to him that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated."
Before Morgan had apologized, Punchline Magazine founder Dylan P. Gadinonoted (Warning: lots of profanity at that link) that this wasn't the entertainer's first anti-gay outing and wrote that from a freedom-of-standup-speech perspective, he could do without an apology. Instead he preferred that Morgan — whose act he called "generally ... not at all funny" — take the opportunity to "just get off the stand-up stage for a while and stop leaning on his television credits. Most importantly, maybe he'll just shut ... up."
Was Tracy Morgan's apology enough to earn him forgiveness? If not, what would work? Post your opinion in comments.
[Updated, 6:03 p.m. June 10: Statements from Tina Fey and NBC's Bob Greenblatt, received shortly after this post went live, have been added.]
Tracy Morgan apologized Friday morning for a homophobic rant he launched into during a June 3 show at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.
"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."
Morgan spoke out after organizations including GLAAD and the Human Rights Commission called for an apology or explanation.
During his June 3 show, the "30 Rock" and former "Saturday Night Live" actor had launched into a bit in which he called homosexuality a choice, said gays needed to stop complaining about bullying and promised that if his son were gay he'd better come home and talk like a man, or Dad would stab him to death.
That according to fan Kevin Rogers, who was at the Nashville show with his partner and a friend and had shared the comments -- much more raw than our version -- in a profanity-riddled Facebook post recounting details of Morgan's raunchy rant.
"I figured at some point the gay jokes would fly and I'm well prepared for a good ribbing of straight gay humor," wrote Rogers, who said he found most of the show hilarious, until Morgan went off -- in detail -- on why homosexuality was "crazy" and how President Obama should "man up" and stop speaking out on behalf of lesbian gay bisexual and transgender kids.
Rogers' observations got more notice when Truth Wins Out, an organization that fights anti-gay extremism, issued a release Wednesday calling for a response from Morgan.
The Ryman Auditorium told the Hollywood Reporter that it "regrets that people were offended by the show," and does not control or endorse statements made by performers on its stage.
LGBT civil-rights organization HRC issued a follow-up statement Friday praising Morgan for apologizing, but saying that those words weren't enough.
"He's a role model and Morgan now has a responsibility to make amends for his horribly hurtful and dangerous 'comedy' routine. He also needs to go further than his apology and correct the record: no one should feel ashamed because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and they should definitely not become a victim of violence," said Fred Sainz, HRC vice president for communications. "Words have consequences and Morgan should be held to a higher standard. Until he does something meaningful, his brand will remain tarnished."
So, should the audience have expected Morgan's rant? Perhaps the comic thought so.
"I think Nashville is hip, that's why I like playing it," he told the Tennessean newspaper in a June 2 article subtitled "What will Tracy Morgan say next?
"People get what I'm saying. They understand the words that are coming out of my mouth."
Tracy Morgan is recovering from a kidney transplant and will miss taping at least two or three episodes of "30 Rock" while he recuperates, EW.com reports.
Morgan, who was diagnosed with diabetes in 1996 but said he didn't take it seriously at first, had the surgery around Dec. 10, the mag says. The comic and "SNL" alum was spotted out at an NBA game on Friday, but that's hardly like work.
His character's absence from the show will be covered, EW said, with a story line that includes a meltdown over something good that has happened to him -- hey, perhaps he'll finally earn EGOT status? At any rate, no need to panic until March, because that's when the missing-Morgan episodes will air.
"He is looking forward to going back to work after the holidays," his rep said in a statement.
Fans will be relieved to learn that the operation was not performed by Dr. Leo Spaceman.