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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Today In Celebrity Apologies: Pharrell and Jonah Hill

Posted by on Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 11:54 AM

So, Pharrell did the thing that just shouldn't be a thing any more: dressing up as another race. He did it on the cover of Elle magazine wearing what looks like a Native American headdress. This immediately spawned an hashtag response online: #NotHappy (a reference to his hit song "Happy.")

Through his publicist, Pharrell responded: “I respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture. I am genuinely sorry."

Actor Jonah Hill, meanwhile, was recorded over the weekend yelling a homophobic slur at a paparazzi. Hill went on the Tonight Show last night and said this:

"This weekend I was out with some friends and there was a paparazzi guy, and he was antagonizing me and calling me names, attacking me personally and my family personally, and I was genuinely hurt by this and made angry by this," Hill said.

"In response, I wanted to hurt him back and I said the most hurtful word that 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...sorry," Hill said, needing a moment.

"I think that 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...I'm sorry and I don't deserve or expect your forgiveness, but what I ask is 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 as an example of what not to do."

The whole thing is worth watching, actually. Attention, celebrities of America (Pharrell, Macklemore, etc.)! Try not to do stupid offensive things in the first place. But if you do, take note—this is how you convey your humanity, apologize, and move on without coming off as a self-pitying shmuck:


Comments (29) RSS

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Cato the Younger Younger 1
Why hasn't this risen to the level of outrage that Mackelmore's stunt a few weeks ago did on Slog?
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on June 4, 2014 at 12:06 PM · Report this
fletc3her 2
That's a pretty good apology from Jonah Hill. I'm sure we've all said things in anger that don't reflect our political views.
Posted by fletc3her on June 4, 2014 at 12:10 PM · Report this
venomlash 3
Jonah Hill said it very well. His apology was deep, tactful, and to the point.
Posted by venomlash on June 4, 2014 at 12:15 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 4
Dear Alec Baldwin,

This is how you do a proper, heartfelt apology. Please make a note of it.


Teh Gays.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on June 4, 2014 at 12:17 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 5
I find few things more absurd than stinking rich celebrities crying about paparazzi.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on June 4, 2014 at 12:25 PM · Report this
So, still no apology from the Stranger?

Posted by Marree on June 4, 2014 at 12:38 PM · Report this
biffp 7
I liked Jonah Hill's apology. Jimmy Fallon's coming out joke, was that in good taste? It was certainly lame.

Pharrell, doesn't that fall under homage? It looks a bunch of tweets in protest. I don't see any quotes from Native American tribes or representative organizations. Frankly, I wouldn't mix these two into a story for dramatic effect.
Posted by biffp on June 4, 2014 at 12:42 PM · Report this
@1 Why hasn't Toure saying Holocaust victims had white privilege caused as much outrage and consequences as Donald Sterling? The Stranger has done about 6 articles on Sterling and not one mention of this. No mention on CNN, NYT (who did 15 articles on Sterling), or his employer MNSBC who also did over a dozen stories on Sterling.
Posted by hayden c on June 4, 2014 at 12:42 PM · Report this
Confluence 9
@2,3, 4, 7

Fucksake, these people are professional ACTORS who specialize in falsifying human emotion for a paycheck. You people are not very bright. Keep drinking the kool-aid. Much easier than thinking.
Posted by Confluence on June 4, 2014 at 12:59 PM · Report this
@9 "Keep drinking the kool-aid."

That is a fantastically original and insightful way to tell people that they aren't as smart as you are because they believe things you don't! Tell me, if I learn to "think" the way you have, will I, too, have creative bursts of this caliber?
Posted by LJM on June 4, 2014 at 1:05 PM · Report this
Perfect responses by Jonah Hill. All is forgiven, at least in my book. (Nice touch about how people can learn from his mistake.)
Posted by NotYourStrawMan on June 4, 2014 at 1:18 PM · Report this
@ 5 So because they are rich its ok to harass them?
Posted by dkjndmsahksdhksal on June 4, 2014 at 1:21 PM · Report this
danewood 13

Actors are human beings, too, and capable of genuine emotion.

A side note, as a professional actor, the good ones aren't falsifying emotion. The good ones are empathising with their character and their character's at a level where they feel genuin emotion.

Now go back under the bridge, troll.
Posted by danewood on June 4, 2014 at 1:24 PM · Report this
dnt trust me 14
"That is a fantastically original and insightful way to tell people that they aren't as smart as you are because they believe things you don't! Tell me, if I learn to "think" the way you have, will I, too, have creative bursts of this caliber?"

You could have just called him an asshole and saved me the time from reading your fantastically original response.
Posted by dnt trust me on June 4, 2014 at 1:24 PM · Report this
raku 15
#7: Native Americans are of course outraged by Pharrell's misappropriation, racist sports team names, etc. It's not hard to find them. If you only follow white dudes or other limited groups of people on the Internet, that doesn't mean those are the only people with voices. Other people are speaking all over the place and it takes 5 seconds on google to find them.……
Posted by raku on June 4, 2014 at 1:48 PM · Report this
If call someone a faggot own it. Have some fucking stones in your pants. America is so emasculated and limp.
Posted by Say it loud on June 4, 2014 at 1:53 PM · Report this
Paparazzi are vultures and parasites. No need for homophobic slurs, there are plenty of other epithets for those bottom-feeding scum suckers.
Posted by originalcinner on June 4, 2014 at 2:09 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 18
@12 They feed the corporate vultures that peddle celebrities. Celebrities are commodities like toilet paper and vodka.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on June 4, 2014 at 2:27 PM · Report this
rob! 19
@17, 18: Vultures do actual useful work, and prey only upon the dead. I believe you owe them an apology :)
Posted by rob! on June 4, 2014 at 2:40 PM · Report this
If the hurtful insult that first comes to mind when you react is 'suck my dick you fucking faggot', then you have deep-seated homophobia that you need to look at. "Apologizing" for letting your inner thoughts and emotions out, saying that you didn't mean what you said to sound the way it sounded, is disingenuous at least. You can make your "apology" sound heartfelt and genuine -- it may even be heartfelt and genuine, and you can have remorse, but it is tied to the fact that you let out your secret feelings rather than that you've actually made the journey out of -phobia. I'm an old guy, and I'm sick and tired of people "apologizing" for slinging gay-themed insults in the heat of the moment when their emotions are right at the surface -- that's not taking care of the root problem. Time for someone to do some work on himself.
Posted by Calpete on June 4, 2014 at 3:04 PM · Report this
Jonah Hill's apology definitely seems heartfelt. I actually thought it was overkill to offer multiple public apologies. He apologized on Stern, the Tonight Show, Good Morning America. Enough already. He lashed out with words at one dirtbag who'd been harassing him for hours. Anyone who can't forgive something like this -- or worse, won't admit to ever having made a similar mistake -- isn't worth having on your side anyway.
Posted by Amanda on June 4, 2014 at 3:14 PM · Report this
@1: "Why hasn't this risen to the level of outrage that Mackelmore's stunt a few weeks ago did on Slog? "

Well, maybe part of it is that Jonah didn't start his apology with "if this offended someone" but rather he took absolute responsibility for his use of hateful language. He also did not ask for anyone to forgive him, but rather took responsibility for what he said not like others who do not take any responsibility for their hateful speech.
Posted by Weekilter on June 4, 2014 at 3:16 PM · Report this
Kinison 23
Difference between Jonah Hill, Pharrell and Macklemore, is that Jonah wasn't pressured into apologizing.

I hate Jonah Hill (as an actor).
Posted by Kinison on June 4, 2014 at 3:20 PM · Report this
@23 -- I'd imagine the movie he has opening next week helped motivate a prompt apology.
Posted by Amanda on June 4, 2014 at 3:34 PM · Report this
bgk 25
If we start disallowing people to be allies because they said "Fag" and then apologized about it, and apologized on National TV, and didn't make the apology about themselves; we wouldn't have any fucking allies.
Posted by bgk on June 4, 2014 at 3:51 PM · Report this
Confluence 26

Uh, no, actually. You're a little slow. No surprise there. Kool-aid drinkers are people who lap up the bullshit that's fed to them by mass media because they don't know how to think for themselves. If you weren't able to figure that out, then I'm not surprised you're one of them. Go back to your slow clap for Jonah Hill and his apology performance. Inspirational!
Posted by Confluence on June 4, 2014 at 10:47 PM · Report this
LEE. 27

This thoughtful takedown is missing a "sheeple" or two.
Posted by LEE. on June 4, 2014 at 11:40 PM · Report this
@20 "If the hurtful insult that first comes to mind..."

Even in the heat of the moment, a properly crafted hurtful insult is about your insight into the character of those on the receiving end of those words.

If you find that's your "go to" insult, then you've certainly tapped into some deep seated homophobia, but it does not necessarily follow that it your own.
Posted by More Aryan Than Those Brown-Eyed NeoNazis on June 4, 2014 at 11:51 PM · Report this
and yet Johnny Depp's movie (the one where he dressed up like a native american) was blessed by a whole tribe of native americans.

I Still think there is a difference between homage and making fun. It's all context, but we're still to primitive to understand context. We think this is activism and doing "RIght". sure. Ok. SHitting your pants over this has saved inner-city kids and has helped women being raped in 3rd world countries.

Keep up the good "Work"

words are important. But only if you have actual "Actions" To back them up. This generation is nothing but hot air.
Posted by happy time on June 5, 2014 at 3:59 AM · Report this

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