Comedy fans were offended by American comedian Tracy Morgan during his sold-out shows.
Sally Bennett – Herald Sun
April 15, 2013 12:00AM
DISGUSTED comedy fans stormed out of Melbourne’s Hamer Hall when visiting American comedian Tracy Morgan let fly with a sexist rant on stage at the weekend.
An outpouring of anger hit social media after Morgan’s two sold-out shows on Saturday night, with guests urging others to boycott future performances citing extreme misogyny and lack of humour.
The controversial comedian has a huge following as the star of hit TV show 30 Rock and was performing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival as part of a national tour.
His expletive-riddled show was saturated with offensive material about women and graphic sexual references, leading to about 50 people walking out and many more to express their revulsion and demand refunds.
Sue, who was at the show, said the performance “went beyond the gutter”.
“It was all sexually related. He said he was a pervert and this is the sort of stuff he liked and then it went on from there,” Sue told 3AW radio. “It was like a horrible experience. He went everywhere, he discussed disabled people having sex, what his experiences were, everything he discussed was just disgusting.”
Leading women’s rights campaigner Melinda Tankard Reist said she was appalled degradation of women was still considered entertainment.She said her action group, Collective Shout, would campaign against Morgan’s remaining shows in Australia. “We have government-funded campaigns to stop violence against women and yet this behaviour continues in mainstream popular culture,” she said. “What message is he sending to other men?”
Herald Sun journalist and comedy reviewer Megan Miller, who was at the show, said it was “truly awful” and full of “old lazy jokes”.
“I’m up for crass and non-politically correct, but this was just disgusting and not at all funny,” she said.
UK comedy guide Chortle has described Morgan as a “pathetic dinosaur with ideas (and jokes) that the civilised world has left behind”.
Many international comedians are paid to perform in Melbourne as “guests” of the festival.
But Morgan was here with independent entertainment company Live Nation.
Festival director Susan Provan said she was not aware of the outrage surrounding Morgan’s Melbourne shows.
But she defended his inclusion in the festival.
“Tracy Morgan is a very high-profile comic with a huge fan base so is an appropriate participant in a broad-based international comedy festival,” she said.
“His solo stand-up is very different from the character we see on TV in 30 Rock and his controversial material has been widely reported on,” Provan said.
Morgan’s Melbourne publicist, Hannah Watkins, said ticket sales to Morgan’s show came with clear warnings about language and subject matter.
After performing in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, Morgan’s only remaining shows are in Perth today and tomorrow.