All strong comedians and dynamic actors are angry and judgmental under the skin. Jonah Hill vented some of that anger at an asshole photographer recently, and has been paying the price for using the “f” word. He’s dutifully apologized and should be left alone. Primal outbursts are usually never about refined language, and they almost never “mean” anything. I used to hear “faggot” all the time in grade school and high school, and it was always about generic degradation. I don’t hear it any more, of course, and good riddance, but stuff like that just pops out of your mouth sometimes if you’re hugely pissed about something. I’ve angrily blurted out “cocksucker” many, many times in my life, and if someone recorded me saying that (and if anybody gave a shit) I’d be accused of homophobia just like Hill. Except I remember a guy in high school telling me once how an old souped-up Chevy that a friend owned “goes like a cocksucker” in a drag race. He was just using that term for emphasis.

How homophobic is the “French mistake” scene in Blazing Saddles? Very, but everyone regards this 1974 Mel Brooks film as a classic and nobody has ever talked about hauling Brooks on to the carpet to retroactively apologize. Gay slurs are gone from the world I live in, but remnants of old attitudes will sometimes peek through at the wrong times. They can’t be eliminated overnight.