Justin Bieber and Jonah Hill have learned an important lesson this week: to keep their mouths shut. The rest of the world is working on this one: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Both celebrities were caught on film saying hurtful things about different minority groups. Bieber’s two different clips were from a few years ago, Hill’s clip from a few days.
Jonah Hill was filmed hurling an anti-gay slur at a photographer. The man had been following Hill all day, taunting him with insults directed at his family. Justin Bieber’s tapes show him a few years ago. In the first, he tells a racist joke with the punch line being a slur for African-Americans. In the second, he replaces the lyrics to his hit One Less Lonely Girl with the same slur. People can be heard laughing in the background
The handling of the situation between the two could not be any more different. Jonah Hill has gone on a tour of contrition, appearing on the late night and morning shows with apologies and remorse. Bieber’s camp, on the other hand, has been more silent, issuing an apology for the first video and an apologetic tweet for the second. Bieber’s fans went on a Twitter rampage, asking how Bieber could be a racist if he has so many black friends.
Jonah Hill jumped on the problem immediately. Soon after his blow up was made public on TMZ, Hill appeared on the Howard Stern show. He stated that he had always been a supporter of the LGBT community. He said he wanted people to look at him as an example of what can happen when one does not think before one speaks. Hill later appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, again apologizing. The next morning he appeared on Good Morning America. While both of the later appearances were scheduled in advance to promote Hill’s upcoming 22 Jump Street, he seemed to appear sincere and contrite in both, and genuinely sorry. Justin Bieber’s terse response on the other hand smacks of falsity. His tweeted bible verses come off as if he is not taking the whole thing seriously. The response that his fans made concerning Bieber’s black friends is not good enough. These tapes are just another example in a long line of poor choices and bad behavior from Justin Bieber. He needs to make a thorough apology, showing that he knows what he did was wrong and taking actions to address his behavior. Maybe then he will be seen as apologetic as Jonah Hill.
Either way, both Jonah Hill and Justin Bieber should have learned a valuable lesson this week. They need to keep their mouths shut. Think before one speaks. If they do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all. Both of these scandals could have been avoided if both of these men had thought about how their actions could affect others. Jonah Hill seems to have gotten the message. Here is hoping that Justin Bieber gets it soon.
Opinion by Bryan Levy