Though there are tons of awesome things that come along with fame, being followed by the paparazzi is not one of them — at least, in this Oscar-nominated actor's opinion. TMZ has just released a video of Jonah Hill spewing a homophobic slur at a paparazzo, and it's disappointing coming from the actor who has come out in support of the LGBT community in the past.
The video shows Hill and a friend walking down street in the Larchmont neighborhood of Los Angeles when a (super annoying) paparazzo comes up to Hill. The paparazzo is clearly egging Hill on, and Hill stays quiet throughout most of the video. After a few minutes of taunting, Hill snaps at the paparazzo — and unleashes a homophobic slur that was totally not okay.
Look, I get it — it must be insanely frustrating to be followed by annoying guys with cameras who won't accept that you have no interest in talking to them. Obviously, this paparazzo wanted Hill to lash out or interact with him in some way — a video of him getting nasty with a paparazzo will sell, but a video of him just walking down the street like a normal human being isn't exactly a money maker. It sucks that celebrities can't walk down the street without being harassed by jerks looking to make money off their reactions, but that doesn't excuse the words Hill used to shut this guy down.
I don't think that Hill is a homophobe — he's come out several times in support of the LGBT community — but I do think that his use of the word is telling of a larger issue here. It's indicative of a cultural problem — one where, in order to make someone feel inferior, you call them "gay." Hill probably didn't think about what exactly he was saying — throwing around the word "f*ggot" as an insult is so commonplace that few people consider just how problematic the word is.
The bottom line is, no matter what, we need to think about the words we use.
Update: Jonah Hill has apologized for his homophobic slur.