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Tracy Morgan returns to Nashville to apologize for anti-gay rant

By Alan Duke, CNN
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Tracy Morgan: I'm sorry
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: "I didn't know, I didn't mean it," Morgan says about his anti-gay rant
  • NEW: "I don't have a hateful bone in my body," Morgan says
  • NEW: Gay man who was in the audience during the rant accepts Morgan's apology
  • His remarks, delivered June 3, become public after an audience member posts them online

(CNN) -- Comic Tracy Morgan returned to Nashville on Tuesday, and vowed to change his stand up comedy act to "heal people, not hurt."

Morgan, who went on an onstage anti-gay rant there three weeks earlier, delivered a personal apology to "the people at the show for bumming them out."

"I didn't know. I didn't mean it," Morgan said.

Morgan is a star of the hit NBC sitcom "30 Rock" and is a "Saturday Night Live" veteran.

Details of his anti-gay remarks emerged after an audience member Kevin Rogers, who is gay, posted them on a Facebook blog. Rogers' blog was picked up by Jezebel magazine, triggering a controversy that led to Morgan's contrition.

Tracy Morgan apologizes for remarks
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Morgan agreed to fly back to Nashville this week to meet with members of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to deliver a face-to-face apology to people who were in the Ryman Auditorium and to work with the Tennessee Equality Project, GLAAD said.

"I don't have a hateful bone in my body," Morgan said. "I don't believe anyone should be bullied or made to feel bad about who they are."

Roger wrote in his blog post that Morgan "mentioned that gay was something kids learn from the media and programming, and that bullied kids should just bust some ass and beat those other little f**kers that bully them, not whine about it."

Morgan said that if his own son told him he was gay, he would "pull out a knife and stab" him, Rogers wrote. "The sad thing is that none of this rant was a joke," Rogers wrote. "His entire demeanor changed during that portion of the night. He was truly filled with some hate towards us."

Rogers sat next to Morgan Tuesday morning as he publicly apologized.

"He shared his genuine concern with his words and has promised me that his actions going forward are going to be positive and supportive of my community," Rogers said. "I greatly appreciate what he said and really appreciate him taking time out to come back and try and right what I believe to be just a huge mistake."

Morgan said the controversy has given him the "opportunity to change my message onstage."

"In my heart, I really don't care who you love, same sex or not, as long as you have the ability to love, that's the important thing here," he said.

Stand up comedy should "heal people, not hurt," he said.

"I hurt people with this, so from the bottom of my heart I apologize to everybody who I offended with my words on stage," he said.

Morgan has also agreed to record a public service announcement for GLAAD's upcoming "Amplify Your Voice" campaign, the group said.

CNN's Rachel Wells contributed to this report.

 
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