US comedian Tracy Morgan has visited Nashville to apologise for homophobia during a recent gig.

The star, who has embarked on a publicity blitz to show his contrition, addressed media and gay rights campaigners yesterday at a press conference organised by GLAAD.

Morgan said: “I want to apologise to my friends, and my family and my fans and everyone in every community who were offended with this. I didn’t know. I didn’t mean it… I don’t have a hateful bone in my body. I don’t believe that anyone should be bullied or just made to feel bad about who they are.

“I totally feel that, in my heart, I don’t care who you love, same-sex or not, as long as you have the ability to love… I don’t really see gay or straight, I just see human beings now… From the bottom of my heart, I apologise to everybody… To err is human, to forgive is divine… Thank you everybody for forgiving me.”

Last weekend, the star visited a New York shelter to meet homeless LGBT teens.

The remarks were made at a stand-up gig earlier this month at the Ryman Auditorium but did not attract attention until an audience member highlighted them on Facebook.

Kevin Rogers said Morgan was “truly filled with some hate” towards gay people and did not appear to be joking.

Mr Rogers claimed that the comic said “God don’t make no mistakes” and that gay people should not complain about “something as insignificant as bullying”.

He added: “[Morgan] said if his son that [sic] was gay he better come home and talk to him like a man and not – he mimicked a gay, high pitched voice – or he would pull out a knife and stab that little N (one word I refuse to use) to death.”

Mr Rogers wrote that while some people walked out, others clapped and cheered as Morgan said gays should “take a f**king joke”.