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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 06/25/2009

Perez Hilton's Apology -- Too Little, Too Late?

By Liz Kelly

Perez Hilton following the Toronto incident. (AP)

Earlier this week, when footage (NSFW) surfaced of Perez Hilton shrieking "You're a [expletive] fag" to Black Eyed Pea Will.i.am outside a Toronto nightclub, I of course immediately thought of beauty pageants.

Why? Because Hilton last insinuated himself into the headlines when his same-sex marriage question to now dethroned Miss California Carrie Prejean sparked one of the most overblown stories of the spring. And despite criticism that the question was unfair (I don't agree, btw. Any voting-aged resident of California who aspires to be Miss USA should have a grasp of her state's heated debate about gay marriage.), Hilton defended his question, saying Prejean's opposition to same-sex marriage cost her the pageant crown and positioned himself as a crusader for gay rights.

So Hilton's choice of epithets to hurl at Will.I.am is a bit puzzling. Unless one considers that although Hilton himself is gay, his commitment to equality and gay rights decreases in direct proportion to his distance from a sizable audience. To put it plainly: He's the worst kind of self-serving, self-promoting hypocrite.

Yesterday Hilton posted an apology -- of sorts -- on his site, dismissing the incident as "unfortunate" and blaming his choice of words on a situation in which he felt physically threatened:

"My intention - however misguided it may have been - was to stand up for myself and tell this belligerent man that I had enough of his badgering and was not going to continue to let him berate and intimidate me. I wanted to hurt him with the word I chose, not anyone else."

In an interview with MTV News Hilton added, "I would just hope people know how difficult it is to intellectualize a situation and think rationally when a thug disguised as a musician is screaming at your face and intimidating you."

Fair enough. I'm not in any way condoning the beat down Hilton received at the hands of Black Eyed Peas manager Polo Molina. But what if Hilton had instead used a racial slur in his verbal assault on Will.i.am? Would he expect us to be equally forgiving? Does Hilton apply the same logic to others who have failed to "intellectualize a situation" and similarly inserted bigoted foots into their mouths -- say Michael "N Word" Richards or Mel "Sugartits" Gibson or, mayhaps Isiaiah "fag" Washington?

Apparently Hilton had the same thought, since in the wee hours of this morning he posted a much more contrite apology:

"I am sorry that any good work I have done for promoting equality may be tainted by me reclaiming a hurtful word - that's been personally used against me and the gay community - to hurt someone that was verbally attacking me. It was stupid."

He adds:

"I have reached out to Isaiah Washington, someone I incorrectly labeled a homophobe in the past, despite his own public statements that he was not. I will be donating any money collected from my lawsuit against Polo Molina, road manager for the Black Eyed Peas, to the Matthew Shepard Foundation."

Is Hilton's apology too little too late? You tell me.

By Liz Kelly  | June 25, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Insta-Polls  
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Comments

"Who," Perez, "who." Not "that." You tried to "hurt someone WHO was verbally attacking" you, not "that was verbally attacking" you.

We should set up a rematch, I think. The crowd could cheer for Perez - using his real name, or the manager.

"Mario!"

"Polo!"

"Mario!"

"Polo!"

"Mario!"

"Polo!"

Etc.

Posted by: byoolin1 | June 25, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

byoolin, you could've stopped with your first word.

"Who?"

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 25, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Gee, thanks, byloolin - I don't get enough of that irritating game poolside.

Posted by: Amelia5 | June 25, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Perez Hilton is an annoying, irrelvant hack trying desperately to hang on to his faux celebrity.
That said, this is hardly the first time he's hurled a slur during one of his many hissy fits. I seem to recall him calling Prejean a b!tch during a mostly incoherent rant about his question and her answer at the pageant. I don't think he has apologized (or even acknowledged) that the word he chose to describe Prejean was insulting to women. So it's unclear why he feels the need to make repeated lame attempts at apologizing for his use of a gay slur.

Posted by: spartan123 | June 25, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

That picture of a weepy Perez makes me want to punch him in the face. Many times.

Posted by: jelo97 | June 25, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Not to be overly political about this, or to justify Perez Hilton's actions, but...

Perez Hilton is gay, as am I. Our community has tried to reclaim derogatory terms that have been used against us, such as fa**ot, d*ke and queer. This is in a similar vein as the black community's reclaiming the N word.

Perez Hilton used a term that has been reclaimed by HIS OWN community to insult another person who is, in fact, NOT gay. This is not in any way the same situation as WHITE Michael Richards using the N word against a black man, MALE Mel Gibson using sugart*ts against a woman, or STRAIGHT Isaiah Washington using fa**ot against a gay man. If Perez Hilton had used the N word, it would have been racist on his part. But using the word fa**ot to describe a straight man? How is that homophobic?

Besides all that, I am of the belief that nothing justifies physical violence, no matter what kind of insult-flinging has occurred.

Posted by: Caitlin41282 | June 25, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"Intellectualize" -- pretty big word for a small man.

"I have reached out to Isaiah Washington" -- and I'm sure Isaiah is absolutely thrilled to have his name brought up once again in this context.

I still think that photo of Perez would make the perfect poster for a Dennis-the-Menace-goes-to-seed film. Might even garner an Oscar nod. Or 10.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | June 25, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Perez Hilton and his ilk (don't you just looove that word: ilk?) need to go away and not be reported on again.

VTY,

Curmudgeon

Posted by: bmschumacher | June 25, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be hilarious if it turned out Perez wasn't really gay but was just a straight guy who realized he could never become a gossip columnist unless people thought he was gay.

Posted by: buffysummers | June 25, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Perez Hilton's career is: Who cares. The dude's pathetic.

Posted by: novany | June 25, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Perez Hilton is gay, as am I. Our community has tried to reclaim derogatory terms that have been used against us, such as fa**ot, d*ke and queer. This is in a similar vein as the black community's reclaiming the N word.


Posted by: Caitlin41282 | June 25, 2009 11:51 AM |

At one point in this kerfuffle Hilton said he hurled that particular epithet as the worst thing he could think of to insult Will.i.am.

I submit that had Will.i.am called Hilton the N word his community would be equally vocal in their disapproval.

Perez Hilton is a parasite who loves to savage people in print. When pushed back he resorts to playground tactics similar to, I know you are but what am I?

Posted by: jes11 | June 25, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh my goodness, Buffy, I had the same thought... How funny.

Posted by: Osteph | June 25, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"To put it plainly: He's the worst kind of self-serving, self-promoting hypocrite"

No, Liz. There are far worse.

Posted by: jezebel3 | June 25, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Jez,

Speidi?

Posted by: Osteph | June 25, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Scott Feschuk on Perez's punchout:

"[W]hile it is wrong to wish violence upon anyone (obvious exceptions: John Mayer and whoever invented “hiking”), I was raised to believe it is not quite as wrong to appreciate a devastating left cross delivered in the name of karma."

http://tinyurl.com/ll7cct

Posted by: byoolin1 | June 25, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

He just needs to be punched in the face on a daily basis. Seriously.

BTW, his question to Miss Prejean was not unfair. What was unfair was the reaction to her stating an opinion about it that didn't jive with the PC police.

Posted by: rashibama | June 25, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Perez Hilton used a term that has been reclaimed by HIS OWN community to insult another person who is, in fact, NOT gay.
Posted by: Caitlin41282 | June 25, 2009 11:51 AM
====

Are you sure? I hear gay people all the time use that word to describe each other, not people who are straight.

And anyway, for Perez to use even a perjoritive of what he is to insult someone means that he thinks what he is is worthy of insult.

It's not homophobic for Perez to use the term. It's self-hating, ignorant and sad.

Posted by: mdreader01 | June 25, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm...my initial reading was, "I have reached around Isaiah Washington..."

Isaiah, was it good for you?

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | June 25, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"I am sorry that any good work I have done for promoting equality..."

And that work was?

Posted by: mdreader01 | June 25, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Perez Hilton would have been so much better off if he had used a similar strategy to what Dom DeLuise's character did in Blazing Saddles (approx 1:35 into clip):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMK6lzmSk2o

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | June 25, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Goodbye, Angel.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/25/AR2009062501972.html

Posted by: byoolin1 | June 25, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Sad news, byoolin.

Posted by: hodie | June 25, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

He needs to go away. Frankly, I'm glad Will.I.AM punched him (or his manager). He's that annoying.

Posted by: Guest1234 | June 25, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

As my dear old dad always says "don't call yourself anything you don't want someone else to call you and don't call people names and expect to have them not say them back." Long words of wisdom, but true.

So, sorry Caitlin, you can't call people a fag, etc, and then still claim that you are deeply offended when someone says the same thing to you.

Stop using hateful words and then maybe the next generation will too.

Posted by: supersonic2 | June 25, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

He needs to go away. Frankly, I'm glad Will.I.AM punched him (or his manager). He's that annoying.

Posted by: Guest1234 | June 25, 2009 1:36 PM
=============
He's got that Boom, Boom, POW.

Although, I don't condone that kind of behavior.

Posted by: mdreader01 | June 25, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Mario Lavandeira states categorically in his 'statement' blog that 'violence is never the answer'

If this statement were not so ironic, it would be just sad, in the fullest sense of the word. I don't buy the 'alter ego' excuse)...he takes the cheques on behalf of Perez Hilton....therefore he must he take responsibility for all that the latter utters.

To castigate children for their appearance (see posts on Britney spears children,or lourdes, daughter of Madonna, or alexa joel, or kristen stewart....to berate them as ugly, in need of surgery or cosmetic procedures, he encourages a society to bully their way in and out of arguments, not only is this acceptable as a sport,but further than this, a legitimite social past-time.

If any journalist feels like a challenge, i urge them to reseach the victimisation of Chris(tina) Chen, a minor with learning difficulties, who woke up one day to find Mario Lavendeira had posted up her singing videos he found on you tube, filing it under 'if you are easily offended', and thereby opened up a torrent of like abuse from his loyal fans..such as kill the bi*ch, or slap the retard....rather than back down when challenged about the morality of his posts, he then parodied her in what can only be described as the most sickening online bullying in the public domain....

please Ms Dailey....when you correspond about these matters, look at sections 1b, 2, 3a, 3b and 4 of the definition below.....and then write an informed piece....

vi·o·lence

\ˈvī-lən(t)s, ˈvī-ə-\

Function:

noun

Date:

14th century

1 a: exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse (as in warfare effecting illegal entry into a house)

1 b: an instance of violent treatment or procedure

2: injury by or as if by distortion, infringement, or profanation : outrage

3 a: intense, turbulent, or furious and often destructive action or force

3 b: vehement feeling or expression : fervor ; also : an instance of such action or feeling c: a clashing or jarring quality : discordance4: undue alteration (as of wording or sense in editing a text)

Posted by: bexster | June 25, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

this is one of the funniest (and intelligent) riposte's to the whole sorry business....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph29CUEqRE0&feature=channel

lol...as perez might say

Posted by: bexster | June 25, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

buffysummers
Wouldn't it be hilarious if it turned out Perez wasn't really gay but was just a straight guy who realized he could never become a gossip columnist unless people thought he was gay.

That was a plotline in "Ugly Betty" this season, when fashion reporter Suzuki St. Pierre was revealed to be a straight man with a wife and two kids, living in the NJ suburbs.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 25, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

So... If someone can pony up $25K, they can use him as a punching bag for stress relief?

Posted by: OddComment | June 25, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Just read this statement from Judy Shepard from their website:

The Matthew Shepard Foundation was surprised to learn this morning via media reports that blogger Perez Hilton (Mario Lavandeira) has announced he plans to donate, to our organization, the proceeds of a lawsuit he is contesting over an altercation which has been widely reported in recent days.

We had no advance notice or contact from Mr. Hilton or his representatives regarding this proposal, nor any communication since he posted this plan to his website.

We do not know the details of the lawsuit, whether it has been filed, the nature of his claims or the likely outcome. But because the lawsuit presumably involves the physical attack prompted by Mr. Hilton's admitted use of an anti-gay slur, the Foundation will be unable to accept any funds obtained in such a manner.

We very much appreciate the generosity of the offer to support our continuing work to memorialize Matthew through activism in defense of sexual minorities and in favor of understanding, compassion, and acceptance. But because so much of our work involves education to reduce the use of hateful language against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons, or those so perceived, it would be inappropriate for us to benefit financially from circumstances in which such a verbal attack was involved.

While we applaud Mr. Hilton's apology to the LGBT community and their loved ones for his use of such a slur, we also feel compelled to point out that use of epithets can often lead to physical violence, as it appears it may have in this case, and that the Matthew Shepard Foundation has worked for more than 10 years to bring to people's attention the consequences of hateful or inolerant language.

Judy Shepard

Looks like they don't want this money!

Posted by: wbg8721 | June 25, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

good for the shepard foundation, to reject the tainted $$.
hilton is a toad. he deserved a bit of a smackdown. the manager, however, overreacted. why celebrities even care what this guy says is beyond me. i've looked at his online blog a few times. he's mean, not funny. i quit reading it long ago.

Posted by: frieda406 | June 26, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Everybody that has been attacked by Mario Lavadeira (Hilton), should all file a slander lawsuit against him. It's doesn't matter if they win but a few hundred lawsuits to deal with would probably keep Hilton occupied for a while.

This ugly person represents all that is vile and vulgar with our society.

Carrie has performed incredibly well in defending herself from the vile gays and liberal media attack dogs. She has exposed them for what they are... devious, relentless hypocrites.

Posted by: OldGuy13 | June 27, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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