Jonah Hill’s Apology Is Either Really Sincere or Just Really Good Acting
Jonah Hill was recently caught on camera shouting a disgusting homophobic slur at a paparazzo (“Suck my dick, you faggot”), and Tuesday night (June 3) he appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to apologize for the incident.
"I said the most hurtful word I could think of at that moment." he said after explaining the photographer was insulting him. "I’m genuinely deeply sorry to anyone who has ever been affected by that term in their life… If someone says something that hurts you or angers you, use me as an example of what not to do. And don’t respond with hatred or anger."
First of all, paparazzi are human-shaped piles of trash, so let’s realize there are two villains in this story. But that doesn’t excuse Hill’s offensive retort. He has now apologized (twice — the other time was on Howard Stern) and it wasn’t in some “I’m sorry my words happened to offend you, but I’m not sorry for saying the words” semantic jujitsu. It wasn’t some Official Statement released through a PR flack. He put himself out there and said he was sorry. It certainly seems sincere, doesn’t it?
But you can’t help but think, “Oh hey, this dude is an Oscar-nominated actor, so, ya know, what if he’s faking it?” Or the fact that he has a huge movie coming out so the studio surely coerced him into cleaning up this mess right quick.
Actors in this scenario are in a catch-22. Do a big-ticket apology like this, and you get called out for being self-publicizing and insincere and your motives are questioned. Don’t do anything, and you get called whatever -phobe applies and people begin to put words in your mouth and the wheel of outrage continues to turn.
Of course, the way to avoid this predicament is to not say ignorant, hateful shit (something that is a tad more difficult when you’re hounded by ignorant, hateful shits with cameras any time you step outside). But when celebrities do say ignorant, hateful shit, wouldn’t we rather see them make a public apology — no matter how much it reeks of CYA or self-promotion — as opposed to the flaccid, superficial alternatives?
Or we could just ask that everyone from now on refrain from stepping outside and speaking, which is where we’re heading anyway and seems like a pretty decent situation to be honest.