Jonah Hill Is Not the Real Problem

by Kadeen Griffiths

The Jonah Hill Apology Tour is still in full swing. In case you missed it, Jonah Hill spewed a homophobic slur at a paparazzo over the weekend, which was especially shocking considering Hill's long history of support and involvement with the LGBT community. Almost as soon as the video was leaked by TMZ, Hill appeared on Howard Stern to apologize in a truly heartfelt and genuine manner. The apology definitely earned Hill back at least a few of the points that he's host, considering he took responsibility for his hateful speech when it would have been much easier for him to deny that the admittedly unclear word was the one we were told it was, but the world is still justifiably reeling. Perhaps that's why Hill addressed the homophobic slur on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon as well. After all, the road to overcoming hate is long, never-ending, and arduous, so why should the road to making up for it be any easier?

Hill started off his second apology strong, taking a moment without being prompted to address the audience with something he stressed "wasn't funny". He fumbled when he again took the victim route, pointing out that the paparazzo had been harassing him all day and been saying things that genuinely hurt Hill, but then took another step in the right direction when he pointed out that none of that mattered. Hill stressed that he didn't expect to be forgiven forgiven for what he had done and repeated his desire to at least be an example to others of what not to do or say in the future. At least he didn't mention the old "some of my best friends are gay" excuse that had dampened his first apology.

If there's one thing we can take from this for certain, it's that Hill is genuinely upset and apologetic about what he's done. It's equally important to note that Hill does not expect to be forgiven for throwing a homophobic slur around. Quite honestly, that kind of language isn't the kind of thing you just forgive and it's certainly not the kind of thing you ever forget. As shocking as it was to hear that from a longtime ally, Hill truly is the poster boy for the ingrained homophobia and hate in our society.

That the absolute worst and most hateful word he could think of to throw at a paparazzo to hurt him as Hill had been hurt was a homophobic slur says a lot about Hill's values and the kind of battles that the LGBT community have to fight every day. Hill seems poised to spend as much time as possible slowly but surely making up for his moment of anger, but whether he does or doesn't really doesn't matter. The real focus of this situation should not be on Hill as a victim or a hero but on the power of words, especially words rooted in hate. Hill is just one small part of a larger societal problem.

Watch Hill's latest apology below.

Image: Giphy