This week, actor Jonah Hill became the latest celebrity to publicly use a homophobic slur, during a confrontation with a photographer. The incident was captured on video and released by TMZ.
By the end of the night, he gave an emotional apology on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” saying, “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.”
Hill is part of a long line of celebrities to get caught using the slur. Here are a few of the most well-known incidents:
The incident: Alec Baldwin, 2013
The outcome: MSNBC quickly canceled the actor’s weekly show, “Up Late with Alec Baldwin.”
The “30 Rock” star was fired after video surfaced of him berating a New York Post photographer, using the same anti-gay slur. Baldwin released a statement in the days following, stating, “I did not intent to hurt or offend anyone with my choice of words, but clearly I have -- and for that I am deeply sorry.”
The incident: Tripp Palin, 2012
The outcome: An awkward denial by mother Bristol Palin, family’s reality television show in limbo.
Possibly the youngest offender ever, Bristol Palin’s three-year-old son Tripp dropped the offensive word during an episode of the Lifetime reality series “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp.” The child throws a tantrum, using the slur against his aunt. The moment prompted an awkward refute from Bristol, who contended the boy actually said something else. The show has been in limbo since its first season ended in July 2012.
The incident: Tracy Morgan, 2011
The outcome: Several public apologies and a partnership with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
Baldwin’s “30 Rock” co-star Tracy Morgan was ripped by fans and his then-boss Tina Fey for a homophobic rant the comic unleashed at a standup performance in Nashville. The rant included Morgan telling the audience he would stab his son to death if he were gay and also knocked homosexuals for what he perceived as whining about being bullied, according to a fan at the show. Morgan issued an apology through his representative, saying, “I’m not a hateful person and don’t condone any kind of violence against others.”
The incident: Kobe Bryant, 2011
The outcome: A $100,000 fine from the NBA.
The 16-time NBA All-Star made national headlines in 2011 when he yelled the slur at a league referee after being called for a technical foul. Video of the very public slur quickly made the rounds on cable news outlets and YouTube, prompting an apologetic statement from Bryant. “The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone,” Bryant wrote.
The incident: Shia LaBeaouf, 2008
The outcome: Embarrassment and an apology.
The actor, then 22 and fresh off a blockbuster turn in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” was caught on video mocking his friend with the slur during an apparent game. The video was eventually yanked from YouTube but LaBeaouf was “very embarrassed,” according to a statement from a representative of the actor.
The incident: 50 Cent, 2004
The outcome: No apology.
Rapper and actor 50 Cent got into hot water with gay rights groups when he used the slur when talking to a Playboy magazine interviewer, adding, “I’m not prejudiced. I just don’t go with gay people and kick it.” Domestic sales for “The Massacre,” his record following the interview, dropped to nearly half of what his 2003 debut sold.
The incident: Bob Hope, 1988
The outcome: An apology and public service announcement.
The late comedic legend may have been the first celebrity to make a public apology after using the anti-gay slur during a television appearance. Hope used the slur to refer to someone wearing a colorful tie on the show, according to GLAAD’s website. Hope apologized in a public service announcement where he addressed the camera, saying, “I was amazed to discover that many people die each year in anti-gay attacks and thousands more are left scarred, emotionally and physically.”
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