Jonah Hill told off a pesky paparazzo over the weekend — not an uncommon event in the battle between celebs and photographers — but he used an unfortunate and homophobic choice of words in doing so.
TMZ footage shows a non-TMZ photographer following the 22 Jump Street star and a group of his friends and being arguably obnoxious. But when the paparazzo finally calls it quits, Jonah says, "Suck my d—k, f—t."
The 30-year-old two-time Oscar nominee appeared on The Howard Stern Show this morning (June 3) to explain and apologize for the slur.
"This is a heartbreaking situation for me for many reasons … I'm upset because from the day I was born, and publicly, I've been a gay rights activist."
By way of explanation, which he says is just context and not an excuse for his behavior, Jonah said the photographer had been hounding him all day and saying hurtful things about himself and his family.
"If you call me ugly, if you call family members of mine drug addicts and maniacs, I'm eventually going to lose my cool. Now what I said in that moment was disgusting and a hurtful term … 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 what they mean, they are rooted in hate … I shouldn't have said [it]. I am happy to take the heat for using this disgusting word."
Jonah explained he has many close friends and family members who are gay and that he's even going to be part of a same-sex wedding soon, adding, "It would break my heart to think, especially with all the work I've done and all the loved ones I have, that I would be against anyone for their sexuality."