Earlier today, I wrote about my disappointment with Jonah Hill for using a homophobic slur toward a photographer over the weekend. And while my disappointment hasn’t gone away, I’m actually pretty pleased with the apology that he just issued on The Howard Stern Show.
Just to catch you up, TMZ released video today that showed a group of paparazzi following Jonah through Los Angeles, heckling him about all manner of stuff. We only hear the guy insult Jonah’s floral print board shorts, but apparently he was taking aim at everything from Jonah’s appearance to his family members. And at some point, for whatever reason, Jonah snapped, and gave the guy exactly what he wanted, saying:
“Suck my dick, you faggot.”
Ugh. Gross. No excuse. But the only silver lining here is that Jonah knows that, and he’s taking responsibility for it in his apology instead of pretending like he was misheard, or like that’s an okay word to say when you don’t mean it that way.
“This is a heartbreaking situation for me, because from the day I was born, and publicly, I’ve been a gay rights activist. [...] This person had been following me around — just to give it some context, not excusing what I said in any way — had been saying hurtful things about my family, really hurtful things about my family. and I played into exactly what he wanted and lost my cool. And in that moment, I said a disgusting word that does not at all reflect how i feel about any group of people.”
He then takes a quick jaunt down ‘I Have Gay Friends Lane’, and seems dangerously poised to use that as an argument for why he shouldn’t be in trouble for this…but then comes back to the intelligent side of things by explaining that he knows the words are never okay, no matter who you are.
“I’m not at all defending my choice of words, but I am happy to be the poster boy for thinking about what you say, and how those words, even if you don’t intend them in how they mean, they are rooted in hate, and that’s bullshit, and I shouldn’t have said that.”
Hey Alec Baldwin, are you listening? This is how you apologize for using an unacceptable term, not by dancing around it, denying it, or blaming your audience for interpreting it as a slur when you didn’t mean it that way, all while continuing to do it on the reg.
“What I said in that moment was disgusting, and a hurtful term. I should’ve said either nothing or just ‘fuck you’. Instead, I used a word that I don’t use in my personal life, it’s not party of my vernacular. I’m happy to take the heat for using this disgusting word; what I won’t allow is for anyone — it would break my heart to think that anyone would think, especially with all the work that I’ve done and all the loved ones I have — that I would be against anyone for their sexuality.”
Well, you don’t quite get to tell people what to think about this, because anyone who has that word on the tip of their tongue, ready to come out, has some thinking to do about why that might be. But regardless, I’m grateful that he’s willing to own up to the fact that what he said was not okay. Half kudos, Jonah.
(Photo: Brian To / WENN.com)