By Jase Peeples
Originally published on Advocate.com June 03 2014 1:46 PM ET
Video footage of actor Jonah Hill calling a photographer an antigay slur was uploaded by TMZ and began bouncing around the Internet after an uncomfortable encounter between the actor and the paparazzi took place last weekend in the Larchmont area of Los Angeles.
The short TMZ video shows Hill being hounded by several paparazzi, with one even teasing the actor for wearing “sexy” floral print board shorts. Hill barks, “Suck my dick, you faggot,” as he walks away.
However, Hill – who has been a vocal supporter of LGBT equality in the past – didn’t let much time go by before he issued a public and heartfelt apology. “This is a heartbreaking situation for me,” Hill said on The Howard Stern Show this morning. “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.”
“In that moment I said a disgusting word that does not at all reflect how I feel about any group of people,” he continued. “I grew up with gay family members. I'm leaving here to go spend the day with one of my closest coworkers 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 bullshit.”
“I shouldn’t have said it,” he added. “It's not part of my vernacular. I'm happy to take the heat for using this disgusting word. What I won't allow is for anyone — it would break my heart for anyone to think, especially with all the work that I've done and all the loved ones that I have — that I would be against anyone for their sexuality.”