×

Tracy Morgan’s Emmy Speech Irks Walmart Truck Driver’s Lawyer

Tracy Morgan’s speech at Sunday’s Emmy Awards has drawn criticism from the attorney representing the Walmart truck driver charged with severely injuring the “30 Rock” alum and killing fellow comedian James McNair.

Morgan made a surprise appearance at the end of the broadcast, when he took the stage to present the award for outstanding drama series. He spoke of recovering from the traumatic brain injury he suffered from June 2014’s six-vehicle crash on the New Jersey Turnpike involving his limo and a Walmart-operated tractor-trailer. Three others were also injured.

“When I finally regained consciousness, I was ecstatic to learn I wasn’t the one who messed up,” Morgan said. “Only recently I’ve started to feel like myself again.”

On Monday, David Jay Glassman, the attorney for Kevin Roper, the Walmart driver involved in the crash, condemned the speech, arguing it would prejudice court decisions against his client.

“This is exactly what happens when a prosecutor and a judge allow parties to dictate what’s important and control the proceedings,” Glassman said in a statement. “Clearly the last thing on the mind of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Jersey Federal District Court Judge who permitted Morgan’s civil case to supersede the pending criminal proceedings, was Mr. Roper’s constitutional rights, including the right to have his guilt or innocence decided in a courtroom, as opposed to by the national media or by way of comments made by Mr. Morgan during the nationally televised 67th Annual Emmy Awards. While the violations of Mr. Roper’s rights continue unabated, Mr. Morgan has confirmed that his monetary goals have been realized and his personal as well as professional recovery is well underway. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about my client, Kevin Roper, who awaits indictment, while his constitutional rights were discarded in favor of an unprecedented rush to judgment and material for comic relief.”

Morgan and Walmart reached a settlement over the accident in May, but the National Transportation Safety Board concluded in August that the crash was caused by Roper’s fatigue (he had allegedly been awake 28 hours and worked almost 14 at the time of the accident) and that he was speeding. He was charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto, and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Backstage in the press room after his speech Sunday, Morgan said that his speech was written “by me, [manager] Lewis Kay and Jeff Stilson.”

“We just sat down and it just came from the heart,” he told reporters. “I just wanted to say to my peers and my comrades in TV land thank you very much.”

Emmy Parties 2015: Inside TV’s Biggest Bashes

More TV

  • Paradigm Agency Cuts 30 Staff Positions,

    Paradigm Agency Cuts 30 Staff Positions, Mostly in Music

    Paradigm has made a significant cut to its staff, laying off about 30 agents and support staff or 4% of its employees, Variety has confirmed. Sources said most of the layoffs were in the music area at the agency and took place Friday.. Paradigm, which had about 700 employees prior to the layoffs, had no [...]

  • Edward Burns'Alex Cross' film premiere, Los

    Edward Burns Dramedy, Blumhouse TV Docuseries in Development at Epix

    Epix is eyeing some potential new additions on both the scripted and unscripted front. Network president Michael Wright unveiled Epix’s development slate, which includes two scripted projects and three prospective docuseries, at its Television Critics’ Association winter press tour day. One of the two scripted series hails from Edward Burns who is best known for [...]

  • Kim Kardashian WestFashion Group International's Night

    Kim Kardashian West 'Goes to War' on Mass Incarceration in Documentary Trailer (Watch)

    Kim Kardashian West is going to war on mass incarceration. Oxygen has released the trailer for her documentary “Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project,” which sees the media personality declare that “there is a mass incarceration problem in the United States.” The two-hour documentary, premiering Sunday, April 5, captures Kardashian West as she explores the [...]

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of

    Harry and Meghan Will Give Up Royal Titles, Repay U.K. for House Renovation

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will lose their royal titles of “His Royal Highness” or “Her Royal Highness,” when they step back as senior members of the United Kingdom’s royal family, according to a new statement from Queen Elizabeth and Buckingham Palace. However, the duo will maintain the moniker of Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The [...]

  • Grey's Anatomy deaths

    The Top 13 ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Deaths Ranked

    If there’s anyone that knows how to deliver a heart-wrenching death scene, it’s the team behind ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.” Created by Shonda Rhimes, the broadcast medical drama came out of the gate in 2005 with literal life and death stakes for its characters. Being set in a hospital meant that mortality was a constant theme [...]

  • Jeffrey Epstein

    'Surviving Jeffrey Epstein' Docuseries Gets Greenlight at Lifetime

    Lifetime has officially ordered the four-hour documentary series “Surviving Jeffrey Epstein.” The announcement was made at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Saturday. The series was originally announced as in development last summer and is expected to air this summer on Lifetime. Hailing from Emmy-winner Robert Friedman’s Bungalow Media + Entertainment, Anne Sundberg [...]

  • Lorena Gallo, Lorena Bobbitt. Documentary subject

    Lorena Bobbitt Biopic Greenlit at Lifetime

    Lorena Bobbitt’s story is getting the biopic treatment. Lifetime has greenlit “I Was Lorena Bobbitt,” a feature about the woman who became a household name and made tabloid headlines when she cut off her husband’s penis with a knife in 1993 after years of abuse. Bobbitt was the subject of a Jordan Peele-produced Amazon docuseries [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content