Why Jonah Hill Should Be Forgiven


Jonah Hill used of the ‘F Word’ as a knee-jerk reaction to an abusive photographer, and we should believe him when he says he’s sorry, says Rob Buchanan. Tell us what you think.


I think the LGBT community should accept Jonah Hill’s apology for shouting a homophobic slur at a paparazzo. I believe Hill is sorry, not only because he has been a vocal supporter of gay rights, but because what he said in his apology .

Hill said he is heartbroken after a video of him telling a photographer who was hassling him to “Suck my dick, you faggot!” hit the Internet. You only need to listen to the sincerity of his apology about using the ‘F word’ to see it is not wholly motivated by anxiety over loss of box office or antagonising Hollywood’s ‘gay mafia’.

Hill apologised on the Howard Stern radio show, saying: “It was disgusting and hurtful for me to call the photographer ‘faggot’.” There was a sense of genuine atonement to his apology, borne of getting a rare perspective on the use of an obnoxious slur that continues to cause so much hurt to an oppressed minority.

Was the photographer gay? Does it matter? He had been stalking and antagonising Hill for the entire day, not only trying to provoke Hill by commenting on his personal appearance, but by allegedly mentioning a member of the star’s family currently in rehab for drug addiction. Hill’s mistake, distasteful as it might have been, was borne less out of genuine prejudice or ignorance than out of a mindless, knee-jerk reflex.

His sincere apology provides a great opportunity for the LGBT community to highlight that homophobic slurs are not harmless playground banter; that they reflect and underline the effort by some to de-humanise us and deny our equality. But as much as we show our outrage, we must be as eager to forgive when it’s appropriate to do so.

I hope this incident was a learning curve for everyone involved and proves a platform, especially for young straight men of a certain age, to question their use of the F Word. As Hill put it: “I am not at all defending my choice of words but I am happy to be the poster boy for thinking about what you say and how those words, even if you don’t intend them in how they mean, they are rooted in hate.”

And what of the ones who shake off criticism without comment, or the hardened bigots who actively stand by their homophobic insults ? Well, we can’t give up on them either. We must believe everyone has the potential for change, otherwise why bother arguing against injustice at all?

Do you think Jonah Hill’s apology is sincere and that he should be forgiven? Comment below.

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