Louis C.K. and Judd Apatow have called on TMZ to remove the grizzly footage showing the aftermath of the car accident that killed stand-up comic James McNair and injured Tracy Morgan and fellow comedians Ardie Fuqua and Harris Stanton.
“Take it down TMZ,” C.K. wrote last night. “Now. Please.” He followed that up with, “TMZ has a video of footage of my friends Tracy and Arte [sic] in a terrible crash,” before imploring fans: “Please don’t go to TMZ to watch the video. Please ask them to take it down.”
Soon after, Judd Apatow weighed in by tweeting at TMZ head Harvey Levin, “Please take down the accident video.”
C.K. also tweeted a link to an Instagram post from Fuqua’s daughter Krizya in which she also asked the gossip site to remove the clip, and respect her and her family’s privacy so that “my father and everyone else can recover in peace.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the footage was shot by a passing driver shortly after the accident and shows an unconscious Fuqua — who’d opened for Morgan at a show in Delaware that night — being pulled from the wreckage.
“They don’t understand how hurtful it is to see my father be dragged out of the wreckage,” Fuqua’s daughter wrote. “Along with all the false information on his condition. I understand people want to know and people want to be updated, but enough is enough. This is hurting my heart so bad that this video is posted for all to see.”
The six-vehicle accident occurred Saturday morning on the New Jersey turnpike when a limousine bus carrying the comedians was hit by a Walmart truck. On Sunday, a publicist for Morgan said the actor was doing better, but still in critical condition, having suffered broken ribs, a broken nose, a broken leg and broken femur. While Morgan will likely remain in the hospital for the coming weeks, the publicist called his increased responsiveness “an incredibly encouraging sign.”
As for the truck driver, Kevin Roper plead not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and assault by auto during his arraignment on Wednesday. While police say Roper caused the accident because he was sleep-deprived, Walmart reps maintain that their driver was in compliance with the federal laws, in regard to rest, which say a driver can’t spend more than 11 hours driving within a maximum shift of 14 hours. However, Bill Simon, the company’s U.S. CEO, said in a statement that Walmart will take full responsibility if it is determined that their truck caused the accident.