Was it just a bad day in front of the paparazzi or is Jonah Hill a bit homophobic? The 22 Jump Street actor took responsibility for what he said over the weekend on The Howard Stern Show on Tuesday.
The incident began when Hill was being harassed by a cameraman while he was out with a friend in Los Angeles, California. The paparazzo baited the 30-year-old with phrases like, "I like the shorts, bro. They are pretty sexy."
Eventually, the two-time Oscar nominee was followed down a side street. The photographer left him with, "Have a good day." At that point, Hill had reached his limit and yelled, "Suck my d***, you f*****." It was all caught on camera.
The The Wolf of Wall Street star told Stern, "This is a heartbreaking situation for me. I'm upset because from the day I was born, and publicly, I've been a gay rights activist. Now, this person, you saw a 40-second video. This person had been following me around — just 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 things about me personally and I played into exactly what he wanted and lost my cool."
Hill has worked for the Human Rights Campaign, and he's even tweeted a photo of himself wearing one of its T-shirts with the phrase "Love Conquers Hate" in Russian to protest the country's treatment of the LGBTQ community.
He continued to Stern, "In that moment, I said a disgusting word that does not at all reflect how I feel about any group of people. I grew up with gay family members. I'm leaving here to go spend the day with one of my closest co-workers and best friend who is gay, who's getting married, who I'm going to stand at his wedding. You know? 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 are rooted in hate, and that's bulls***. I shouldn't have said that."
It's pretty clear that Hill knows his choice of words was wrong, and he's pretty remorseful about the entire situation. As he told Stern, "Look, I think I'm pretty good at being in movies. I am not good at being a famous person. I'm just not!"
It sounds like a lesson learned.
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