I am sorry. I’m feeling weirdly cynical about Jonah Hill’s apology tour, and it’s not because I don’t think he’s being sincere. Or rather, it’s not that I think he’s homophobic. It’s just that I feel like I’ve seen this Jonah Hill character in one or more of this movies, the “Oh, please don’t kill me, Mr. Assassin, I promise I won’t tell anyone” guy begging for his life, only I don’t think his celebrity was ever in danger. GLAAD hasn’t been calling for his head. I haven’t seen any angry open letters. No one is protesting 22 Jump Street. I very much doubt anyone thinks that Jonah Hill is honestly homophobic, though they may find his choice of words to be ill-advised and dumb.
Look: He said a word he shouldn’t have said unless he was saying it as a character in one of his movies, in which case no one bats an eyelash (and I looked: The word has been used in at least two Jonah Hill movies, Superbad and Knocked Up). And while it very much is a homophobic word, I don’t think that he ascribed any homophobic meaning to it anymore than Al Swearengen ascribes homophobic meaning to the word “cocksucker.”
I think Vince over at FilmDrunk summed it up best when he basically said that no, Jonah Hill shouldn’t have used the word, but he should have kicked that scumbag paparazzo’s ass.
And this? This apology? The way Jonah Hill slows it down, puts on his serious voice, and looks into the camera … it’s hard not to believe that Olivia Pope is not backstage pumping her fist triumphantly. Jonah Hill doesn’t have two Academy Award nominations for nothing, folks, which is not to say that I don’t think Jonah Hill feels genuinely sorry. I just think he’s delivering a hard sell when a simple “I fucked up” would do.
See? Should we be grading that for authenticity, or for the performance?
“I’m really sorry! I shouldn’t have said that, now please go see my movie where I probably make a lot of gay jokes about Channing Tatum!”