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Jonah Hill has apologized for his poor choice of words over the weekend.
The 22 Jump Street star was walking with a friend in Los Angeles when he lost his cool on a paparazzo. A cameraman taunted Hill, who was wearing bright, floral printed shorts, saying, "I like the shorts though, bro. They are pretty sexy." The photographer continued to follow Hill and his friend before eventually giving up and yelling, "Have a good day."
Hill then snapped, telling the shutterbug, "Suck my d--k, you f----t."
The 30-year-old actor says he immediately regretted hurling the homophobic slur.
"This is a heartbreaking situation for me," Hill apologetically explained on The Howard Stern Show on Tuesday. "I'm upset…
"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," the Oscar-nominated actor said. "And in that moment, I said a disgusting word that does not at all reflect how I feel about any group of people. 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."
He continued, "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 bulls--t and I shouldn't have said that.
"Look, I think I'm pretty good at being in movies, I am not good at being a famous person," the Wolf of Wall Street actor added. "I think there are some people who are meant for it. If you call me ugly, if you call family members of mine drug addicts and maniacs, I am eventually going to lose my cool. Now what I said in that moment was disgusting and a hurtful term. I should have either said nothing or just 'f--k you.' Instead, 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 I have — that I would be against anyone for their sexuality."
And those weren't his only words on the topic. On Tuesday during an appearance on The Tonight Show, the funnyman turned serious and spoke at length about his comment. Noting that he has been a supporter of the LGBTQ community his "entire life," he said, "I completely let the members of that community and everybody else down when I used a word like that. My heart is broken and I genuinely am deeply sorry to anyone who has been affected by that term in their life."
Hill also asked the audience to use him as an example of what not to do in similar circumstances.
"Don't respond with hatred or anger because you're just adding more ugliness to the world," he said, concluding with, "Again, I am just so sorry."
Hill has worked publicly with the Human Rights Campaign for years and was vocal in speaking out against Russia's anti-gay laws prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
[This story was originally published on June 3, 2014, at 12:44 p.m. PT]