By Chris Hoenig
Actor Jonah Hill took time from promoting his newest movie to apologize for using an anti-gay slur in an attack against a paparazzo.
The Wolf of Wall Street star was caught on camera over the weekend responding to a photographer who mocked his outfit by telling him to “suck my d***, you f*****!”
You can watch video of that incident by clicking here.
The video quickly went viral and the response was swift, with celebrities, activists and fans all condemning Hill’s use of the homophobic slur.
On Tuesday, Hill appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to promote his newest movie, 22 Jump Street, but first took time to discuss the incident. He candidly took responsibility for what he said and admitted he used the slur in an attack against the photographer.
“This weekend, I was out with some friends and there was a paparazzi guy, and he was antagonizing me—calling me names, attacking me personally and my family personally. And I was genuinely hurt by this and made angry by this.
“And in response, I wanted to hurt him back. And I said the most hurtful word I could think of at that moment.”
Hill spoke directly to the audience as he delivered a clearly emotional apology.
“How you mean things doesn’t matter, words have weight and meaning. And the word I chose was grotesque. And no one deserves to say or hear words like that.
“I’ve been a supporter of the LGBTQ community my entire life, and I completely let the members of that community and everybody else down when I used a word like that this weekend. My heart’s broken, and I genuinely am deeply sorry to anyone who’s ever been affected by that term in their life.”
He followed that up with a plea to the show’s viewers to use his actions as a life lesson.
“At home, if you’re watching this and you’re a young person, especially, if someone says something that hurts you or angers you, use me as an example of what not to do. Don’t respond with hatred or anger because you’re just adding more ugliness to the world.
“I know I’m usually funny and stuff, but this wasn’t funny. It was stupid, and I deserve the s*** I’m going to get for it.”
You can watch Hill’s entire remarks below:
Hill has been a visible supporter of the LGBT community for a long time. Last year, Hill joined the Human Rights Campaign’s “Love Conquers Hate” campaign, tweeting out a photo of himself wearing a T-shirt bearing the campaign’s slogan in Russian, part of a protest over that country’s anti-LGBT laws ahead of the Olympics.
— Jonah Hill (@JonahHill) November 4, 2013
“I support anybody doing whatever they want to do to be who they are,” Hill told E! Online. “It’s like saying, why do you think people should breathe?”