Perez Hilton -- who rose to Internet fame, in part, by outing gay actors and sketching doodles of penises and cocaine on Hollywood faces -- announced on Wednesday that he plans to change the tone of his eponymous blog and be kinder to celebrities after six years of mercilessly skewering them.
In a seven-minute, occasionally teary-eyed monologue posted on YouTube, Hilton said he has been thinking about changing the tone of PerezHilton.com for the last year. The recent rash of gay teen suicides, he said, made him realize that the attacks carried out on his blog have made him a hypocritical leader in the fight against bullying.
“I have on my website said things that have been hurtful to people,” Hilton said. “I’ve been doing my website for six years now, and in the past I would justify everything as comedy and humor and ‘these are celebrities.’ But I don’t want to have to justify what I do anymore.
“I need to change and I’m going to starting today,” he continued. “I no longer will be calling Jennifer Aniston by the name [‘Maniston’] I have referred to her for a long time.”
I’m not going to sanitize what I do, I still want to be me, and be fun, and be sassy, without being vanilla and also without being malicious or hurtful and nasty. Because if you ask people who know me in the real world, I’m none of those things. I’m actually a really nice guy with a really big heart. My heart has really been breaking over these suicides.
Starting today, things will be different on my website. I’ve been thinking about this issue a lot over the last year, year and a half. Would people still visit my site if I wasn’t as salacious or as Perez-cious as I used to be? If I was less nasty or biting, would my traffic go down? Well, you know, even if it does, I don’t care. Because this is really important to me.
This is something I’m doing because I want to. Because I’m growing, and I’m 33-years-old, and I want to be a dad. And no, I don’t think it’s right to make fun of kids anymore. I did in the past and I regret it. I’m sorry for that. I’m going to challenge myself to be better at what I do. Not necessarily go for the cheap joke. Be smarter. Be more clever. Be funnier. I hope that you’ll stay with me. Because we’re humans, and we evolve, and we grow, and we mature, and we don’t stay the same. We see things differently six years from when we started doing it.
“The time is now,” he said. “I hope that you will grow with me. I hope that I can do good in this world. More than just entertain. I really want to inspire people. I really want to make the world a better place. I hope I can do that. I’m going to work really hard to do that. I’m still going to have opinions. And I’m not gonna like everybody. But I don’t want to be a bully. It might have been what I was, at times, but it’s definitely not who I want to be or who I’m going to be.”