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Posted at 06:37 PM ET, 06/10/2011

Names and Faces: Tracy Morgan; Jack White; David Simon; Sugar Ray Leonard

Tracy Morgan apologizes for homophobic rant


Tracy Morgan (Phil McCarten/Reuters)
With prominent gay rights groups on Friday demanding an apology over jokes he made during a June 3 performance in Nashville, Tracy Morgan quickly issued one, TMZ.com reports.

During his set at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, Morgan, among other remarks, said he would stab his son to death if he talked to him in “a gay voice.” After the performance, at least one gay fan expressed outrage online, and the Ryman Auditorium itself issued a statement apologizing to anyone offended by the comic’s remarks. On Friday, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Human Rights Campaign both called for an apology from Morgan.

Morgan obliged, saying he had gone too far and that his comments weren’t funny in any context. “I’m not a hateful person and don’t condone any kind of violence against others,” he said in 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.” It didn’t end there though. In a statement following Morgan’s apology Friday, the Human Rights Campaign’s Fred Sainz called on Morgan to do more: “Words have consequences and Morgan should be held to a higher standard. Until he does something meaningful, his brand will remain tarnished.”

Jack White and Karen Elson divorcing


Jack White and Karen Elson ) (Gareth Cattermole/GettyImages)
In other news out of Nashville, rocker Jack White and his model-singer wife Karen Elson announced they were throwing a party there to celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary and their upcoming divorce, People reports. The two made the split official Friday in a joint statement: “We remain dear and trusted friends and co-parents to our wonderful children Scarlett and Henry Lee.” According to the invitation, the Friday night party would include “dancing, photos, memories and drinks with alcohol in them.” White, 35, and Elson, 32, wed in Brazil in 2005. White and Meg White earlier this year disbanded their longtime group the White Stripes, while Elson has been performing her own music and managing a clothing boutique in Nashville.

David Simon responds to Eric Holder

Attorney General Eric Holder is a fan of television drama “The Wire.” On May 31, the Justice Department hosted “Wire” cast members Jim True-Frost, Wendell Pierce and Sonja Sohn in D.C. during the launch of a public-awareness campaign by the Federal Interagency Drug Endangered Children Task Force. Holder, innocently perhaps, said he’d like to see another season of the show, which went off the air in 2008. He addressed show creators David Simon and Ed Burns by name.

It took a week, but Simon responded to Holder’s comment with a counter-offer, the Atlantic reports: End the war on drugs, and I’ll make another season of “The Wire.”

“The Attorney-General’s kind remarks are noted and appreciated,” Simon said in an email to the Times of London. “I’ve spoken to Ed Burns and we are prepared to go to work on season six of ‘The Wire’ if the Department of Justice is equally ready to reconsider and address its continuing prosecution of our misguided, destructive and dehumanising drug prohibition.”

Spotted

• Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Tex.) and Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) sharing an early dinner at Bibiana on Thursday. They enjoyed a multicourse meal and were engrossed in conversation throughout.

• Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard having lunch with a small group at Sette on Thursday. According to a fellow diner, he wore a royal blue v-neck T-shirt and casual black pants and appeared to be in great shape. He may have been in town in support of his new memoir “The Big Fight.”

—Christian Hettinger from staff, Web and wire reports

Names and Faces is the Style section’s Saturday column of personalities news.

By Christian Hettinger  |  06:37 PM ET, 06/10/2011

 
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