Jonah Hill apologizes for using homophobic slur

Jonah Hills attend a photocall to promote "22 Jump Street" at Claridges Hotel on May 22, 2014, in London. Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

Jonah Hill is apologizing after he was caught on tape calling a photographer a homophobic slur.

"The Wolf of Wall Street" actor snapped at a cameraman who had taunted him as he walked with a friend in Los Angeles over the weekend. After the footage was posted by TMZ, Hill appeared on Howard Stern's radio show to apologize and say there was no excuse for his actions.

"This is a heartbreaking situation for me," Hill, 30, told Stern on Tuesday. "I'm upset because from the day I was born, and publicly, I've been a gay rights activist. Now, this person, you saw a 40-second video. This person had been following me around -- just to give it some context, not excusing what I said in any way -- this person had been following me around all day, had been saying hurtful things about my family, really hurtful things about me personally, and I played into exactly what he wanted and lost my cool."

"In that moment I said a disgusting word that does not at all reflect how I feel about any group of people," he explained. "I grew up with gay family members. I'm leaving here to go spend the day with one of my closest co-workers and best friend who is gay, who's getting married, who I'm going to stand at his wedding. I'm 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 and how they mean, they are rooted in hate, and that's b------t and I shouldn't have said that."

Hill added, "I used a word that I don't use in my personal life. It's not part of my vernacular...I'm happy to take the heat for using this disgusting word. What I won't allow is for anyone -- it would break my heart for anyone to think, especially with all the work that I've done and all the loved ones that I have -- that I would be against anyone for their sexuality."

The actor has previously taken a public stance in favor of gay rights. Last November, he tweeted a photo showing support for the Human Rights Campaign's "Love Conquers Hate" effort ahead of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

  • Jessica Derschowitz

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