Just this week, Hollywood’s man of the moment Jonah Hill has come under fire for his use of an abusive derogatory term – unfortunately normally reserved for members of the LGBT community – towards a pestering paparazzo. It was an unpopular move, and he has since apologised sincerely for what he claims was a slip of the tongue. Alec Baldwin recently used the same abusive term in public, and was similarly maligned by the media. It seems that these days, public favour quickly turns sour when a celeb spouts hate-filled sentiments towards a minority group. Indeed, LGBT rights have easily reached an historical high in the 21st century, and to a growing number of people homophobia is right up there with sexism and racism on the taboo list. Yet, anti-gay sentiments still spring up like tenacious weeds here and there among influential figures in the public eye.
Everyone knows that one person, at least, who holds hostile views on the sensitive issue of gay rights. But homophobic sentiments are a tricky thing to pin down, at times. For one, the discourse on LGBT equality gets lost on a lot of people, evident in phrases like “I’m not homophobic…I just think gays shouldn’t be allowed to get married” or “I don’t care what you do at home…just don’t show it on TV.” For every homophobic traditionalist, religious nut, or deeply-buried sexuality complex there are plenty of less vocal homophobic people who, under certain circumstances, might be swayed to utter something pretty derisive about other peoples’ sexuality. In the case of these 10 celebrities we see all kinds: From unapologetic slander, to macho posturing, to flat out unforgiving and regressive political stances, these 10 celebrities have used their positions of influence to incite hate with some of the most outrageously homophobic sentiments spouted for all to hear.
10. 50 Cent
“If you a man and your [sic] over 25 and you don’t eat pu**y just kill yourself damn it. The world will be a better place. Lol”
Lol? The only thing worse than the fact that rapper Curtis Jackson tweeted this message in 2010 is the fact that rapper Curtis Jackson tweeted this message a day after a 19-year-old college student killed himself over homophobic bullying in 2010. The rap star has since gone on the defensive, stating that only a fool would oppose same sex marriage “at this point”. But, not one for redeeming himself, Fiddy also went on about the need for organizations for straight men, “in case you’ve been on the elevator and somebody decides they want to grab your little buns.” Hardly a shining example of progressive thinking from the rap industry’s A-list.
9. Kirk Cameron
Trivia time: Does Kirk Cameron think gay marriage is a) unnatural b) detrimental or c) ultimately destructive to so many foundations of civilization? The answer is d) all of the above. The former Growing Pains star and current extreme evangelical Christian activist has no shortage of unsettling things to say about gay rights, including that if his son were to ever come out to him, he would totally help him not act on his feelings.
8. Mel Gibson
“They take it up the a**…this is only for taking a s***… With this look, who’s going to think I’m gay? I don’t lend myself to that type of confusion. Do I look like a homosexual? Do I talk like them? Do I move like them?”
Off screen Mel Gibson’s specialty seems to be all-around preposterousness in all its forms; homophobia just happens to be one of them. The above quote comes from an interview with a Spanish magazine in December 1991. When the reporter asked Mel what he thought about “the perception that many actors are gay”, he apparently felt threatened enough to get defensive, which in Mel Gibson land means getting entirely offensive. His many public, hate-filled statements have coincided the degeneration of Gibson’s career as he falls further and further out of public favour.
7. Cee Lo Green
Cee Lo Green? Not you too. To his very slight credit, his 2011 comment was directed at a music critic who called a show of his “gross” and “inept”, and it’s definitely a step down from the last few rants on this list. Green responded on twitter with: “I respect your criticism, but be fair! People enjoyed last night! I’m guessing you’re gay? And my masculinity offended you? Well f**k you!”
Green refused appeals to apologize, saying “what was homophobic about that?” But later admitted his tasteless comment, whether intended with serious homophobic weight or not, was better left untweeted.
6. Victoria Jackson
This former SNL star turned Tea Party member, and heterosexual “by choice”, is about as unabashedly homophobic as celebrities get. After her SNL days, Jackson disappeared for a time before reemerging as a bible-thumping anti-gay activist, who claims to not even believe in homosexuality. After Glee aired a 2011 episode showing two teenage boys kissing, Jackson went on a series of TV tirades that, among other things, called homophobia a “cute buzzword” of the “anti-Christian liberal agenda”, and advised Glee to promote celibacy campaigns rather than “trying to make kids gay”.
5. Chris Brown
Chris Brown is no stranger to doing and saying shameful things, but when it comes to homophobia his record is almost unprecedented in the music industry. Whether it’s repeatedly using that entirely politically incorrect f word against fans and fellow celebs, or twitter feuding with rapper Raz – “Dick in da a— little boy… #homothug!!!” – or allegedly proclaiming he’s “not down with that gay s—t” before proceeding to punch a fan in the face last year, Brown has gained a notorious reputation for his evident homophobia.
4. Tracy Morgan
Some would call comedian Tracy Morgan has his own distinct brand of totally outrageous and completely insane humour. That might very well be true, but during one 2011 comedy show in Nashville, Tennessee, he took things too far by suggesting if his son were gay he’d stab him to death. For some it was just another Tracy Morganism for the history books, but for most, the 30 Rock star had either totally lost his mind or seriously screwed up comedically. He later denied being homophobic, chalking the whole instance up to a “misunderstanding”.
3. Donald Trump
Trump’s loud mouth and anti-gay marriage views are no secret, but not everyone remembers that time in 2011 when he bizarrely told the New York Times his opposition to same-sex marriage is a lot like his opposition to using a new kind of putter in golf. “People are switching to these really long putters, very unattractive,” he told the newspaper. “And, I hate it.” Trump went on to say he’s a traditionalist with many “fabulous” gay friends.
2. Donna Summer
Donna Summers’ bout with anti-homosexuality remains peculiar and mysterious. The late “Queen of Disco” had been an icon of the gay community in the 1970s, but then seemingly, out of the blue, she was quoted in a harsh anti-gay rant during a 1983 performance. “It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” she reportedly told the audience. “I’ve seen the evil homosexuality come out of you people… AIDS is the result of your sins. Now don’t get me wrong; God loves you. But not the way you are now.”
The born-again Christian later denied ever having made the comments. Considering she also later claimed to “not have an opinion” on gay equality, her contributions to LGBT rights later in her career sound more like damage control.
1. Phil Robertson (Duck Dynasty)
A&E temporarily suspended the bearded Duck Dynasty star from the hit reality show after he made vicious comments about homosexuality to GQ magazine last year. Among them included some entirely bizarre assertions including that ‘gay people can’t go to heaven’ and ‘bestiality and infidelity begin with homosexual behaviour’. Since being restored to his reality show, you’d think he’d do a little better at toning down the hate. Not so: Last month he blamed the public outrage for his hate-filled rants on gays being sensitive to “the truth about their sins”, and then paraphrased some Biblical passages which equated homosexuals to adulterers, prostitutes, greedy thieves, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers. He is, by far, one of the most unashamedly homophobic celebrities ever to be granted the limelight.