Fifteen months ago, Tracy Morgan was involved in a horrific traffic accident that nearly killed him; Sunday (Sept. 20), following months of surgery, physical therapy and fan concerns that he would never be the same, the comedian made a triumphant appearance at the Emmy awards to a standing ovation.
One family, however, was not standing: The relatives of James "Jimmy Mack" McNair, a veteran comedian who once took Tracy under his wing, and who died in the accident.
"Tracy Morgan ain't s**t," writes McNair's son, Jamel "Jshyne" McNair, on his Facebook page following the Emmys. "People don't even know the half, this public figure that they have so much sympathy for and they know nothing about is put on a pedestal because he's a d*** celebrity. Being a celebrity doesn't excuse you from human obligations."
According to a New York Daily News report, the McNair family hasn't heard from Morgan since the fatal accident. "I understand it's been a great ordeal for Tracy over the last 15 months," McNair's sister Pamela tells the newspaper. "I just feel in some form or fashion, he should have acknowledged my brother -- his mentor -- because he lost his life."
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"If I had a friend who died in an accident with me in the car ... My best friend's children would be the first ones I reach out to when they died," son Jamel writes in his Facebook post. "You take the Emmy stage and give a speech and tell jokes in front of thousands of people. But you don't show up to celebrate the life of your best friend."
"There's no excuse for this type of behavior ... My sister and I have yet to hear from Tracy Morgan and that's real," he continues. "Send a smoke signal, give a call, text -- send a d*** pigeon."
When asked for comment by the Daily News, Morgan's rep did not immediately respond. Morgan has said in previous interviews that he watched McNair's funeral on YouTube, and when he was on "The Today Show" in June, he spoke of McNair, saying: "The loss of my friend will never heal."
Still, while Morgan was undoubtedly a highlight of the Emmy broadcast and left a lot of people crying, it appears as though the comedian may have some healing that remains unaddressed.
"I know there's a healing process, mentally and emotionally. I'm sure being in that limo and seeing certain things, it was highly traumatic for him. But just take a minute along the way to acknowledge my brother," says Pamela McNair. "He has children, siblings, a big family all bearing that same pain."