This is how you apologise.
When you’ve said something you really goddamn wish you hadn’t said
in public where someone heard you, this is how you respectfully repent and move on.
Actor Jonah Hill (Wolf of Wall Street / This Is The End / Superbad) has been in big trouble this week, rightfully, for using a homophobic slur. When a paparazzo taunted him on the street, Jonah reached for the most offensive thing he could find in the moment. “Suck my dick, you faggot,” was what came out.
Now, most celebrities would issue a damage control statement to the press and move on, knowing their level of fame would protect them from any real fallout.
But not Jonah.
Jonah’s relatively new to Hollywood, and endearingly earnest. He immediately recognised what an awful thing he’d done and stuck his hand up in the air to acknowledge it.
When he visited his buddy Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, Jonah requested a moment to address the incident.
What followed was nothing short of fucking glorious. Here’s Jonah Hill’s sincere, eloquent apology from a truly sorry man. A thousand high fives to Jonah for taking his own deeply flawed choice of insult to make a really important point about the weight of words.
This is how you do a proper apology.
Because we totally get that famous humans make mistakes too. We really do. And we want to forgive you when you compare media attention to rape, throw wild insults around, sing a racist song, or say something terrible when you’re angry.
So next time you do any of those things, make like Jonah and fix it.
Here’s Jonah’s apology in text if you can’t watch the video:
This weekend I was out with some friends. There was a paparazzi guy and he was antagonizing me and calling me names, attacking me personally, my family personally. I was genuinely hurt by this and made angry by this. In response, I wanted to hurt him back and I said the most hurtful word I could think of at that moment. I didn’t mean this in the sense of the word. I didn’t mean it in a homophobic way.
I think that….that doesn’t matter, you know? How you mean things doesn’t matter. Words have weight in meaning. The word I chose was grotesque. No one deserves to say or hear words like that. I’ve been supportive to the LGBTQ community my entire life and I completely let the members of that community and everybody else down when I used a word like that this weekend. My heart’s broken.
I’m genuinely deeply sorry to anyone who has ever been affected by that term in their life. I’m sorry and I don’t deserve or expect your forgiveness. But what I ask if that you’re at home, if you’re watching this and you’re a young person especially. If someone says something that hurts you or angers you, use me an example of what not to do. And don’t respond with hatred or anger, because you’re just adding more ugliness to the world. Again. I’m so sorry.
Write that down, famous people. Write it down.
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