“How you mean things doesn’t matter,” the “22 Jump Street” star said. “Words have weight and meaning, and the word I chose was grotesque.”
“I know I’m usually funny and stuff, but this wasn’t funny,” Jonah Hill said during his appearance on “The Tonight Show” Tuesday night. “It was stupid, and I deserve the s–t I’m gonna get for it.”
The “22 Jump Street” star was referring to an incident this past weekend, where he responded to harassment from a paparazzo by telling him to, “Suck my d–k, you f—-t.”
The moment he took his seat at “The Tonight Show,” Hill asked if he could address the issue to the audience. He went into a brief explanation of what happened.
“There was a paparazzi guy and he was antagonizing me and calling me names, attacking me personally, my family personally, and I was genuinely hurt by this, and made angry by this,” Hill said. “And in response, I wanted to hurt him back, and I said the most hurtful word that I could think of at that moment.”
He went on to add, “I didn’t mean this in the sense of the word, you know? I didn’t mean it in a homophobic way … I think that, um, that doesn’t matter. How you mean things doesn’t matter. Words have weight and meaning, and the word I chose was grotesque. And, you know? No one deserves to say or hear words like that.”
Hill said he’s been a lifetime supporter of the LGBTQ community, and felt that he’d let them down, along with everyone else. “I genuinely am deeply sorry to anyone who’s ever been affected by that term in their life,” Hill said.
“I don’t deserve or expect your forgiveness, but what I ask is that 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, and don’t respond with hatred or anger. Because you’re just adding more ugliness to the world.”
Fallon unexpectedly lightened the room after Hill’s apology when he paused after saying the words, “That’s good that you came out…”
Hill couldn’t help but laugh, as did the audience. The Roots even gave him a rimshot, before Fallon clarified that he wasn’t done with his thought. “That’s good that you came out here and told us all,” he said.
“My love and apologies to everybody,” Hill said in closing.
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