A contrite Hill called into Howard Stern's radio show this morning to say he was sorry.
"I'm upset because from the day I was born, and publicly, I've been a gay rights activist," said the star of "Wolf of Wall Street" and "22 Jump Street."
Hill and a friend were being followed by photographers and cameramen, who were shouting at the actor to get a response from him. At first, the star ignored them, but finally lashed out at one.
"Just to give it some context - not excusing what I said in any way - this person had been following me around all day, had been saying hurtful things about my family, really hurtful things about me personally, and I played into exactly what he wanted and lost my cool," Hill explained.
The actor has been a vocal proponent of same-sex rights and spoke out against Russia's anti-gay laws before the Sochi Olympics. There is also a scene in "22 Jump Street" in which Hill's character lectures Channing Tatum's character about using offensive homophobic language.
"In that moment, I said a disgusting word that does not at all reflect how I feel about any group of people," Hill said, noting that he was about to stand up with a gay friend at his wedding.
"I'm not at all defending my choice of words, but I am happy to be the poster boy for thinking about what you say and how those words, even if you don't intend them and how they mean, they are rooted in hate, and that's bulls---. I shouldn't have said that."
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