Leave Jonah Hill alone

Actor Jonah Hill, the star of the new film “22 Jump Street,” was stalked by paparazzi in Los Angeles this weekend, in yet another display of the decorum that is the industry that killed Lady Diana.

Fed up with the videocam-toting man, who had apparently been following the actor around all day, and who had been saying hurtful things about Hill’s family, presumably in an attempt to get Hill to respond, Hill finally told the guy, “suck my d*ck, you f*ggot.”

I’d have probably done far worse.

The paparazzo thought it was cute, among other things, to tell the actor how “sexy” his shorts were. In essence, one could argue — and I would — that it was the videographer from TMZ who was being homophobic.

You can watch the video for yourself. The video guy is rude, and he’s gay-baiting. And perhaps it’s time someone asked TMZ for comment about whether it’s their standard policy to gay-bait stars in an attempt to provoke an outburst.

Jonah Hill being stalked by paparazzi.

Jonah Hill being stalked by paparazzi.

I’d had it with the celebrity-stalker industry years ago. When Lady Diana died, after being chased through a tunnel at 65 mph by the paparazzi in Paris, I think a lot of us who don’t live in Hollywood got our first real introduction to this industry that has grown up around harassing famous people for pay. You read the stories about what these cameramen do, chasing people all over town, stalking their spouses and their families, and then hurling vulgar insults at them in order to get them to turn to the camera for the perfect shot.  And in the case of Hill, in the video below, you’ll see a camerman not just following him, but also getting in front of him and facing him with the camera while he’s walking.

This isn’t journalism. And I don’t care how famous you are, no one in any job, regardless of how much money they make, signed up to be stalked and abused all day long by these people.

People who are the victims of these stalkers should have a remedy, whether it be legal, or physical (and most certainly verbal).

As for Jonah Hill’s comments, first he apologized. Second, he has a history of being supportive, and even outspoken, on gay rights issues, including supporting efforts to raise awareness about Russia’s brutal crackdown on its gay citizens. In the context of a guy who has openly supported our community, who is then stalked and harassed all day long, I’m somewhat less than outraged that he resorted to an anti-gay slur after being gay-baited.

If TMZ is so concerned about homophobia, perhaps it should start with its own.

Jonah Hill wearing one of HRC's t-shirts to raise awareness about Russia's mistreament of gay and trans people.

Jonah Hill wearing one of HRC’s t-shirts to raise awareness about Russia’s mistreament of gay and trans people.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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