Over the weekend, actor Jonah Hill lashed out at a harassing paparazzi photographer, yelling, “Suck my dick, you faggot!” Since then, he’s been on an apology tour for the language he used. Tuesday morning, he explained his mistake on The Howard Stern Show, describing the words as “rooted in hate.”
Tuesday night, he offered a sober and thoughtful response to his actions on The Tonight Show:
Hill described the language as “the most hurtful word I could think of at that moment,” but that he “didn’t mean it in a homophobic way.” But, he added, “That doesn’t matter. How you mean things doesn’t matter. Words have weight and meaning, and the word I chose was grotesque. No one deserves to hear or say words like that.”
Though professing to being a lifelong ally to the LGBT community, Hill admitted that he “completely let the members of that community and everybody else down.” “My heart is broken, and I genuinely am deeply sorry to anyone who’s ever been affected by that term in their life.”
He also reached out to young people at home, imploring, “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.”
A 2012 GLSEN report found that 81.9 percent of LGBT students report being verbally harassed at school because of their sexual orientation. Specifically, the study found that 84.9 percent of students had heard “gay” used in a negative way (i.e. “That’s so gay!”) and 71.3 heard homophobic remarks like “dyke” or “faggot” frequently or often at school.