Jonah Hill has discussed his use of a homophobic slur with Howard Stern, describing it as "heartbreaking." But will it damage the actor's reputation?
Uh oh, Jonah Hill’s really put his foot in it. Lately he’s been riding high off his superb performance in The Wolf of Wall Street and is widely considered to be an “all round nice guy.” This perception of him is even parodied in the film This is the End, in which the actors all play exaggerated versions of themselves.
Jonah Hill has discussed the incident in which he used a homophobic slur with Howard Stern
That’s why it came as such a shock to hear that Hill used a homophobic slur over the weekend. The slur was caught on camera and the 40-second clip has been released by TMZ. In the clip Hill yells at a photographer, “Suck my d***, you f*****!”
Hill told Howard Stern on SiriusXM satellite radio show that the photographer had been harassing him throughout the day, saying “hurtful things about my family,” and “really hurtful things about me personally.” The Superbad actor added, “This is a heartbreaking situation for me.”
When Stern questioned why Hill appeared angry that the situation had been raised, he replied, “Anger’s not the right word at all. I’m upset. Because from the day I was born, and publicly, I’ve been a gay rights activist.”
Hill explained that the photographer’s harassment of him led him to use the slur, “I played into exactly what he wanted and lost my cool. In that moment, I said a disgusting word that does not at all reflect how I feel about any people.”
The actor then told Stern how he had grown up with gay family members and would be attending a close gay friend’s wedding that day. Despite explaining all this to Stern, he made clear, “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 and how they mean, they’re roots in hate and that’s bullsh*t.”
He told Stern that he intended to use the situation he finds himself in to complain about how the press hound celebrities: “I should have said either nothing or just, ‘F*ck you.’ Instead I used 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…I basically meant, ‘You f*cking a**hole.”
Hill has described the incident as "heartbreaking"
Jonah’s explanation does sound heartfelt and sincere. And more importantly, like he actually came up with it himself, unlike some other stars, naming no names (*cough* Justin Bieber). What is missing is an outright apology, although that does seem to be implied in what he was saying and he does seem genuinely upset about the situation.
For his sake we hope that an unintended slip of the tongue doesn’t damage his reputation, because we truly believe that he is one of the good guys.