After being followed and annoyed by a paparazzi photographer who made a crack about the shorts he was wearing, Jonah Hill, told him to “Suck my fucking dick you faggot.” The right to say it notwithstanding, Hill did it to a man carrying a video camera who, probably, immediately saw the gold he was carrying, and went to TMZ with the footage. The rest, of course, is as predictable as the day is long, and Hill immediately began the grovel that accompanies all slips of the tongue in 2014 in an effort to prove that his words did not represent his true feelings about the LGBT community.
After showing up on the Howard Stern show, he appeared the same night on Jimmy Fallon’s show and basically repeated the same apology, but on Fallon’s show, he got choked up, then chose to martyr himself by telling everyone “If you want to do what I did, use me as an example.” Translation: look at what I’m going through and make a better decision.
The headhunters in the media immediately jumped out to say this was a “perfect” apology and applauded Hill for groveling in the right amount. Everyone was so happy that this sniveling snot apology hit all the necessary points to be considered contrite and the world moves on.
Screw that. Someone has to call Jonah Hill out on his bullshit and you know what? Seeing as I pride myself on being an expert bovine fecal matter detector, it might as well be me.
First of all, let’s address the big part of the issue: he called someone a faggot. The only equivalent word in the English language these days is nigger, and both send the lynchmob into a feeding frenzy (as long as your politics or reputation don’t match the “accepted” ones). I’m going to lay some knowledge on you, and this is going to shock some of you. Ready? I love racial humor. And sexist humor. And gender humor. And sexual orientation humor. The more offensive it is, the higher the probability that I’ll enjoy it. I make jokes all the time, and I love making offensive jokes in an elbow-to-the-ribs kinda way. I make black, puerto rican, and gay jokes with friends of those stripes without any thought that they’ll be offended and we all have a good laugh over them.
But one thing I have never and would never do is use a slur and direct it at someone. I have never called a black person a nigger, a gay person a faggot, or any other slur. You can ask anyone who knows me and they’ll confirm it for you: I simply do not use those words toward other people. I’ll readily admit to using them in jokes or in smart-ass remarks, but I never once have ever used them to refer to another person. This is where Jonah Hill, to me, is a liar.
See, I’ve been really pissed off at people who I could come up with a convenient ethnic, racial, or sexual orientation slur for, but the words have never come out of my mouth. They’re not at the tip of my tongue and they don’t “slip out” no matter how angry I get. It just doesn’t happen. Hill, however, wanted to insult someone who criticized his clothing. The clear implication he made with his choice of the word “faggot” is that if you notice another man’s clothing, you’re gay and if I want to hurt a gay person, the best thing I can do is call them a faggot. So that’s what he did, adding a request for fellatio to punch it up. In Hill’s apology, he says “I said a disgusting word that does not reflect at all how I feel about any group of people.”
Jonah Hill, you are a liar.
Calling someone a faggot in that circumstance doesn’t slip out of your mouth unless you have used it in that way in the past. It’s convenient that he doesn’t feel this way about any group of people, yet his remark, when rationalized through the perspective of where that would come from, seems to fit a perfect stereotype of the kind of person you would call a “faggot.” If that word didn’t reflect your opinion of a group of people, then it wouldn’t have come to mind in such a perfect circumstance. Instead, you picked the exact right time to use a term you never use about a group you don’t feel a certain way about all by coincidence? Not bloody likely, dude.
In his apology on the Stern show he makes sure to defend himself by saying that he was going to spend time with his gay friend who was about to be married. It’s the old “I’m not a homophobe; I have lots of gay friends” thing, and everyone just ate it up like it was so heartwarming of him to say.
On Fallon, Hill broke down in his groveling, getting choked up when talking about how he shouldn’t have done it. The NY Daily News couldn’t get enough of Hill’s apology, saying it was “A sincere celebrity apology” and praising him for doing it on Fallon as if he booked the visit simply for the apology and not to promote his new movie, 22 Jump Street. They even, helpfully, told you how to grovel for yourself in case you ever need to. How helpful!
Now I’m going to basically take everything I just wrote and invalidate it to an extent. I don’t hink Jonah Hill should have to apologize, except maybe to the camera person and in that regard only if they were personally offended by being called a faggot. He doesn’t have to apologize to the community at large, the LGBT community, special interest groups, activists, or anyone else in the pitchfork and torch crowd. In fact, the whole reason he had to give this bullshit apology in the first place is because we sit around waiting for people to slip up so that we can extract our pound of flesh from them. Everyone lies in wait for their moment to demonstrate the power they have over them. We don’t have to wait long to find out if someone offended an aggrieved group because the offenderati are there to immediately grab the issue and run with it because, frankly, they have nothing better to do.
A celebrity or anyone else should only have to apologize when they feel the need to and they should never have an apology extracted from them the way people do today. Similarly, you are not entitled to an apology when something doesn’t concern you directly. You do not have the right to ask for an apology for something that does not directly affect you (and I don’t mean your group by race, ethnicity, gender orientation, sexual orientation or anything else, I mean you specifically ). If Jonah Hill using a word you find offensive is such a great affront to you as a person, even if the word wasn’t directed at you, you probably need to re-evaluate your life. And if this “apology,” his groveling, and his horrendous explanation for his behavior sate you, then you’re probably not really offended to begin with. You just want your pound of flesh so that you can show you have power over another person.
That kind of megalomaniacal lauding of power over others is probably more a cause for apology than some dope celebrity saying a bad word.