Jonah Hill Gives Emotional Apology on ‘Jimmy Fallon’ (VIDEO)

After getting into hot water this past weekend for hurling an anti-gay slur at a tabloid photographer, Jonah Hill gave an emotional apology to his fans and the LGBT community on Tuesday’s “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

Upon sitting down, the Oscar-nominated actor immediately launched into his apology, which at first made the audience laugh when he stopped and said he had to tell them something.

“Unfortunately, this isn’t a joke,” Hill said, before explaining that the paparazzi photographer verbally attacked him and his family with insults while he was out with friends over the weekend and in response said “the most hurtful word I could think of at that moment.”

SEE ALSO: Jonah Hill Jumps Into Controversy Just as His Career Gets Serious

“I didn’t mean this in the sense of the word, I didn’t mean it in a homophobic way,” he said as his voice began to crack.  “[But] I think that doesn’t matter, how you mean things doesn’t matter…words have weight and meaning. The word I chose was grotesque and no one deserves to say or hear words like that.”

The 30 year-old actor, who also apologized earlier in the day on the Howard Stern Show, described himself as a supporter of the LGBT community and said he was sorry for letting down every member of that community.

“My heart’s broken and I am genuinely and deeply sorry to anyone who has ever been affected by that term in their life.”

“I know I’m usually funny and stuff,” he concluded, “but this wasn’t funny, it was stupid, and I deserve the shit I’m going to get for it.”

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  1. annamarie smith says:

    well done Jonah

  2. Phil says:

    Words can only hurt you if you give it power or care what the person who used it thinks of you. Will you continue to be slaves to words or let those words give you strength. I had a roommate who is gay, who used the term “that’s gay” all the time and even had a conversation about how ridiculous it is that people get upset over stupid words. When someone calls you a name they are just projecting their insecurities onto you.

  3. not fos says:

    To anyone out there who really thinks Jonah Hill should apologize, let me follow you around for hours with a camera in your face taking personal shots at you. I don’t believe that any of you would last more than 10 minutes without snapping. Let alone several hours. You are all hypocrites. Everyone who has commented negatively here has said worse with less provocation.

  4. djl, ny says:

    yeah, “he didn’t mean it in a hurtful way” yet he says it was the most hateful thing he could think of? which means it’s his “go to” slur….. why does he get off with a “oh, i’m sorry” while others get crucified? his behind the scene demeanor is no different than his “oops”. if someone called him “fat boy” he’d be all over it. (as would a few groups) but his public slip of his normal private vocabulary and it’s “ok, you’re forgiven” he’s already used the same words again and again — nothing changes.

    • Rich says:

      Just because he used a homophobic slur doesn’t mean he believes everything that would typically be associated with somebody who would be comfortable using such language. His apology rings true to me. He was upset and said something that he thought would affect his aggressor in the same way he had been affected. It’s really quite similar to saying something you know will really hurt a significant other even though you don’t really mean it.

  5. Lalita Amos says:

    Nicely done…except the end where Fallon got goofy.

  6. Jennifer says:

    I think Paparazzi just go too far. I feel bad for all the celebrities and their families. I know they make loads of $$ and this ‘comes with the territory’ but it just seems like there are no limits. The photographers need stricter guidelines. Public or job related events, sure. Day to Day living…draw the line. Shouldn’t an individual, celebrity or not, have some rights on when/where they are photographed? When I took photography lessons 15 years ago, it was one of the class rules, always get permission from your subject (before or after photo is taken) to use it for whatever purpose.

  7. John Smith says:

    This is seriously, incredibly ridiculous that he has to apologize for this. No homosexual is going to stop breathing because this guy used a word. Get over yourselves.

  8. Robert Simpson says:

    I feel no hatred towards Jonah. He’s a good actor and for the most part a sincere actor. Kudos Jonah for admitting your wrong doing.

  9. Julie says:

    All I have to say is who has never gotten angry,or been provoked,and said something,we wish we hadn’t.

  10. Jonah Hill impresses me as a sincere guy. I’m not sure why celebrities are supposed to accept abuse from photographers who stalk them. These episodes occur regularly where famous people are the target of verbal and physical abuse. When they have had enough and lash out, the abusers publish their worst moments as if that moment is the sum of what the person is. Paparazzi are professional provocateurs using all their skills to harass, annoy and disturb their targets. Jonah Hill makes me laugh when he does his job. He doesn’t owe anyone more than that.

  11. Robert Herman says:

    It used to be that religious conservatives had dominated at the Shame Game Olympics. Now it seems that the lib’s are giving them a run for their money. This is followed by the apology competitions when contestants grovel for forgiveness and beseech the judges for redemption. (I think I might have just created a concept for a new game show).

  12. tom says:

    Good job, Jonah! Words do hurt. People have died at the hands of that word…or the hate behind it rather. He is right. It is a big deal, but his apology seemed genuine. Never dismiss the hate behind that word or any slur for that matter. Even if you don’t really mean…as in this instance.

  13. Ajay Karan says:

    Jonah Hill is my favorite

  14. Marisol says:

    You need some blunt honesty you’re an ignorant punk who should learn if you say something like this expect people to react unkindly you don’t have to shout at people on the internet who you disagree with. If someone is Gay they don’t need your judgement they are people too. Attack me if you want I’m not scared of you but stop attacking a group of people who have done nothing to you. “That’s life, deal with it.”

  15. DdV says:

    You know, Brad Pitt’s been living under the constant scrutiny of paparazzi for more than 20 years now. I’d bet Matt Damon gets hounded by them worse than Hill, and yet neither man thought the “worst thing he could say” to another man was to call him gay in the most ugly way he could think. Because Hill didn’t just “use that word” he also told the guy to “suck his dick.”

    Even in this segment, being gay was still a punchline when Fallon thanked Hill for “coming out.” And the Roots just kept on making that joke with the rimshots because, see, being gay is still a joke. And it’s funny. Right?

    Should either man be pilloried for their actions? No, especially since I think Hill’s genuinely sincere in his apology. But are people wrong in pointing out why what Hill said, and even to a far lesser extent, how Fallon perpetuated it, is offensive to gay people? No. Just because the bigotry is soft doesn’t mean it’s inconsequential.

    As long as there’s an acceptance that just implying someone is gay is either a slur or worthy of a joke to make the person who uttered the slur laugh there’s still a need to point out how that thinking can affect the lives of millions of people. Knowledge isn’t a bad thing. Once you know better you do better.

    And no one’s anti “God.” Hell, one of the country’s biggest liberal heroes, Stephen Colbert, is a devout Catholic who can argue chapter and verse of the bible with the best of his guests. I just don’t want to be proselytized. Freedom of religion also means the freedom not to believe.

  16. DLRage says:

    Words cannot do damage unless they are allowed to. People who choose to take offense every time someone says something that they don’t like need to get over themselves.

    I don’t buy the “emotional” apologies of someone who makes a living by faking his emotions, not that my opinion matters. His “apology” show his strength of character? By allowing himself to be provoked in the first place (by paparazzi no less) shows his weakness.

    • It’s outrageous to expect someone to live their life completely without emotion and immune to provocation; especially someone who lives so much in the public light. You and I don’t know the details of the provocation, but I am not sure the details matter–something was said, Jonah got angry, and he acted rashly. We all do this, sometimes, just not on a national stage.

      For him to apologize at such length and with such solid rationale for his own culpability is admirable. He certainly didn’t have to apologize. Too often we get non-responses from public figures and public entities. It’s important that he didn’t say, “I’m sorry IF I offended anyone,” or “I’m sorry for any offense I MAY have caused,” and instead owned up to the force of his actions. It’s important that he made a call for others to act more wisely than he did. To that end, while I do believe he was sincere, at some point it isn’t even important whether he was very sincere, a little bit sincere, or even just saying scripted words–because as he said, words have weight and meaning, and in this case he used the right words.

      • bjl, ny says:

        he’s trying to save a career, not apologize. if he had used the “N” word, or the “K” word things would be different and he’d be roasting by now. the fact that his instinct was to lash out with a word that insults a group that most of america still thinks of as disposable is what is heinous… he could have just said A**hole and been done with it.. but no, he comes out with what he even admits to him is the most insulting thing he can say— what does he think of the people behind that word? same ting he thinks on sets and in private– he simply got caught, this time

  17. A Christian Homo says:

    Here’s the thing: people CHOOSE their belief systems, people DO NOT CHOOSE their sexuality. And I think the epithet “faggot” is hurled at others far more frequently than “God-lover”. Show some sensitivity.

    • Broadwayfan says:

      Bill Maher is anti God, and calls any believer an idiot. One day he will learn he was mistaken.
      As for Jonah Hill, we all say things in the heat of anger, things we regret. Public figures have the disadvantage of often being in front of a camera and microphone when they do.
      As was stated by someone else here, that’s exactly what the paparazzi want.
      Give the guy a break. He doesn’t have the maturity and experience of Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, or George Clooney. Well…nobody else can compare to George. His smart mouth is just too funny.

  18. Hope2002 says:

    So, he meant it as the worst thing he could say at the time but not as anti-gay? Why was something anti-gay the worst thing he could think of? It wouldn’t be mine. Would it be yours? That says a lot about him and his level of maturity.

  19. Paul says:

    People love to hate. If not for sexuality or race, for just a reason to bitch. For all of you getting totally insane over this. There is FAR worse shit happening around us. I guarantee we all have done worse than this. Keep it in perspective.

  20. Chris H says:

    I don’t see a problem with it at all. People are pushed to the limit and they will do and say things they don’t mean, whether regretful or not. If your goal is to piss someone off, why not take it to that level? Everyone is so sensitive and take things so literal nowadays. Yes, he literally said it, but i seriously doubt he literally meant it.

    • Marisol says:

      He’s not a “douche” which is also a mean word too so maybe you should stop saying that?! I’ll continue to see his movies the man is sincere you can tell if someone is saying something sincere or not even an actor, you can tell he didn’t mean it most people never apologize for saying something offensive and he did. I been called mean things before but nobody cares because I’m just a shy girl Italian American there’s no support group for someone like me so when people call me “retarded” nobody cares I’m a nice person my feelings don’t matter to anyone.

  21. Lynn says:

    Mr. Hill has been rude to a photographer in the past. A gallery in LA hired a photographer for an opening. She was shooting the room when he came up in her face and he screamed at her for taking his photo. He should not attend events where hired photographers are if he doesn’t want the publicity. He seems a bit full of himself.

    • cadavra says:

      I have a friend who writes for a national magazine. A couple of years ago, he was assigned to interview Hill. When he asked his first question, Hill sneered, “I assume you’re trying to be funny, so I’m going to ignore that and just say that we had a great time making the picture.” My friend immediately thanked him for his time and walked out. When he got back to the office, he told his editor to get someone else to interview “that little shit.” This is not a unique experience, either. I’m glad this exposed Hill for the creep that he is, and I’m sure his apology was scripted damage-control lest it harm his new movie.

  22. Linda says:

    It’s a shame that the words were uttered and it is wonderful that no excuses were made and that he apologized. I am sure that none of his detractors have ever uttered hurtful words when upset. A learning opportunity for all of us.

  23. Don Benn says:

    I am the chairperson of my townships Human Relations Commission. Hill’s actions show that inside all of us (some deep down….some a whole lot closer to the surface) is the ability to use ugly and hateful words. It happens under stress…..and it happened to him. HOWEVER…..unlike the bulk of us…..celebrities or not…..who feel that we can say whatever we want and not take responsibility for the damage our words might cause……Hill is a mensch. His initial and continued apologies and acknowledgement of what he did and why he did it show guts and a strength of character seldom which he seldom portrays onscreen.

    As a professional actor I understand that it’s easier for Hill to express his true feelings. It’s nice to know that the beautiful ones far outweigh the ugly.

  24. Beth says:

    Actually after reading all other comments…. there were more jerks than John…so my apologies to you sir!

  25. Beth says:

    At some point in ALL our lives we will be jerks. Although completely entitled to you opinion…. I only hope that when you are a jerk again John….there are those who will show you compassion and forgiveness. Truth is we can’t believe all that we hear from anyone…especially those who are in the spot light constantly and those who WE as the general public give so much power and “sainthood”!!! But geez get a lift and realize the meaning behind his words…whether HE means them or not, it’s a good lesson. And now we should all just move on!

  26. John says:

    That was certainly a well rehearsed speech, but what does one expect from a skilled actor? The Rolling Stone interview alone was enough of a turn-off for me; I don’t care if I ever hear from this guy again. Jonah Hill is clearly disingenuous and this performance of supposed humility comes off as desperate with a new movie coming out. I bet the box office on ’22 Jump Street’ will take a hit from this crap, but the guy is a jerk, and he’s right – he deserves every single piece of shit thrown his way, but it isn’t just for a homophobic slur; it’s for every bit of stupid, pretentious behavior he’s displayed since he became “serious” – seriously full of himself.

    • Marisol says:

      Enough with that talk! That’s just pure ugliness to call a group of people genetic mistakes. You may not agree with how someone lives their life but you have no right to judge or label someone a genetic mistake or say someone has AIDS.

    • Iggy Charles says:

      John GROW UP!! Jonah Hill was sincere! What did you expect for it to be written by blood. What about the idiot who was heckling him and going personal? What do you have to say about the fact there were no apologies from that person.

  27. lmffy says:

    If my family and friends were.harassed all day, I would have snapped too. Good Mojo.

  28. SFSolstice says:

    We understand and thank-you for taking the time to address the issue. Now on with the show …

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