Out comedian Billy Eichner has said
that he dislikes gay slurs but that intent is important when such
terms are used.
Rather than apologize for homophobic
tweets, including saying that he did not want his son to be gay,
comic Kevin Hart last week withdrew as host of the 2019 Oscars.
Hart withdraws as Oscar host after furor over homophobic tweets.)
As Hart faced a backlash for using the
word “fag,” musician and actor Nick Cannon questioned why other
comics who used the word had not faced similar criticism. Cannon
used Amy Schumer, Chelsea Handler and Sarah Silverman – three white
women – as examples.
In a post on Twitter, Eichner said that
he found Cannon's point “compelling.”
“Here's my personal opinion: Just
don't use the word. It's as simple as that. There are so many other
words to use. Now, because I am a grown up and not a child, I do
take context, nuance and *intention* into consideration,” Eichner
“I think these are comedians who felt
they can use that term because they have very large, dedicated gay
male followings, myself included. They feel like they're 'one of
us.' So I think in some of these cases it was being used with what
is *intended* as some sort of endearing, if irreverent,
“I do think there is a sizable difference between
using this one word in this type of context and saying with some
amount of gravity and truth that you're going to smash a dollhouse
over your child's head if they exhibit stereotypically gay behavior.
HOWEVER – that is an explanation, not an excuse.”
“I'm into owning up to past mistakes,
acknowledging blindspots and hurtful remarks, talking through it,
discussing it, learning, moving past it and making progress together.
And with that, I would like to announce my candidacy for President
of the United States,” he added.