The offensive words were shouted in the Larchmont Village area of Los Angeles; the subsequent apology, shared this morning on The Howard Stern Show. From the TMZ follow-up item:
Hill had the opportunity to deny using the word [f*****t] – Stern said he couldn’t really hear it in the clip – but the 22 Jump Street star wouldn’t let himself off the hook, saying, “What I said in that moment was disgusting… I shouldn’t have said that.”
Hill – who has been active in supporting gay rights – took the blame for his remark… Though he did say the pap had been following him around all day and saying hurtful things about his family.
Hill’s apology was near perfect – he did play the “gay friends card” at one point… Telling Stern he just happened to be spending the rest of the day with a gay friend who is getting married soon.
If you believe that Alec Baldwin, in a similar recent NYC situation, uttered the same word, then perhaps this Hill handling stands as the blueprint of how the 30 Rock star should have also apologized. TMZ, in its original item about the Hill encounter, was quick to point out that the paparazzo in question was not one of theirs. While gleefully, at the same time, trumpeting the exclusive on the offensive footage. (A.k.a. dodging a catch-22-Jump-Street.)
Hill, at one point in his Stern apology, talks candidly about the mixed blessings of Hollywood stardom. “Look, I think I am pretty good at making movies. I am not good at being famous.”
Update (June 4):
Hill started off his subsequent Tonight Show appearance with a heartfelt apology for using the “grotesque” term. “I don’t deserve or expect your forgiveness,” the actor said. But he urged viewers and young people in particular to use the incident as an example of what not to do:
[Photo of Hill at January 2014 Palm Springs event: Helga Esteb/Shutterstock.com]