Jonah Hill seems to have a habit of mouthing off without considering the repercussions. There was the time he called a CNN anchor a "12-year-old girl" on Twitter, there was the intensely uncomfortable Rolling Stone interview in which he sniped, "Being in a funny movie doesn't make me have to answer dumb questions," there was his weird brag that "I have never been star-struck by an actor once in my entire life." (Good ... for you?) And now he's landed himself in the not-so-glowing headlines for shouting a homophobic slur at a paparazzo.
There's no excuse for what he was caught on camera saying, but I have to hand it to Jonah Hill: he knows how to apologize. (Maybe because he's had to do it once or twice before.)
Hill was walking with friends in L.A. over the weekend when he caught the attention of a couple paparazzi. The video shows a pretty typical scenario with a star being followed by photographers who are saying stupid things to try and get his attention ("I like the shorts though, bro. They are pretty sexy"), and it's clear Hill isn't too happy about it. Finally, Hill loses his cool and blurts, "Suck my dick, you faggot."
And of course it was all captured on video. Oops.
Hill appeared on Howard Stern's radio show on Tuesday and devoted a fair amount of time to apologizing for the slur:
I'm upset, because, from the day I was born, and publicly, I've been a gay rights activist. (...) To give it some context, not excusing what I said in any way, this person had been following me around all day, had been saying hurtful things about my family, really hurtful thing about me personally, 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.
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 though you don't intend them, they are rooted in hate, and that's bulls--t and I shouldn't have said that. What I said in that moment was disgusting and a hurtful term I should have either said nothing or f--- you, instead I use a word I don't use in my personal life, it's not part of my vernacular. I'm happy to take the heat for using this disgusting word but it would break my heart for anyone to think I would be against anyone for their sexuality.
I think I am pretty good at making movies but I am not good at being a famous person.
Yeah, that's the thing about fame -- your own voice can so easily be used against you. Last November, Hill was praised for tweeting his support for the Human Rights Campaign's "Love Conquers Hate" effort ahead of the Sochi Winter Games, and today there are 58,000 Google results for "Jonah Hill homophobic." All because of something he blurted under pressure, and regardless of how he explains it, some people will never believe him.
Personally, I think Jonah Hill really does regret his words, but he's got to learn how to deal with persistent photographers or he'll end up like Alec Baldwin. Paps give up on celebrities who make boring video subjects -- but when you're the guy known for providing a juicily offensive sound bite, you'll be a target forever.
What do you think of Hill's apology?
Image via zenimagery/Flickr