11 celebrities who've been called out for anti-LGBTQ comments

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Frank Olito
·11 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
alec badlwin paris hilton and kevin hart
Alec Baldwin, Paris Hilton, and Kevin Hart. Kevork Djansezian, Frazer Harrison, & Steve Granitz / Getty
  • J.K. Rowling tweeted problematic comments about trans people last summer.

  • Other celebrities, such as Eminem and Azealia Banks, have been called out in the past for their comments about the LGBTQ community or for using slurs.

  • Comedians like Kevin Hart and Tracy Morgan have apologized for making anti-LGBTQ jokes.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Celebrities are no stranger to bad press and sometimes it's because of something they said.

Stars like Alec Baldwin, Paris Hilton, Kevin Hart, and Sarah Silverman have all been criticized for saying anti-LGBTQ remarks.

Here are 11 celebrities who've been called out for their comments - and how they responded.

In 2020, Twitter users accused J.K. Rowling of transphobia after comments she made on the social platform.

jk rowling november 2018
J.K. Rowling. Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

The "Harry Potter" author called out a headline that used the words "people who menstruate." Rowling tweeted, "'People who menstruate.' I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?" Fans on social media quickly told the writer she was not being inclusive to the transgender community.

Rowling backed up her statement by tweeting, "I respect every trans person's right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I'd march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it's hateful to say so."

Despite the continued criticism, Rowling did not back down from the debate. She later published an essay, defending her beliefs.

"I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe," Rowling wrote in the essay. "When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he's a woman – and, as I've said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth."

Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting the Academy Awards after his old homophobic comments surfaced, saying, "I am evolving and want to continue to do so."

kevin hart
Kevin Hart. Matthias Nareyek/Getty Images

Between 2009 and 2010, Kevin Hart made insensitive jokes on Twitter and in his standup specials. For example, in one tweet, the comedian said he would break a dollhouse over his son's head if it turned out he was gay. In his 2010 special, "Seriously Funny," he reiterated the point that he would act abusively if his son was gay.

"I wouldn't tell that joke today, because when I said it, the times weren't as sensitive as they are now," Hart later told Rolling Stone. "I think we love to make big deals out of things that aren't necessarily big deals, because we can. These things become public spectacles. So why set yourself up for failure?"

When it was announced that Hart was going to be the host of the Oscars in 2018, his past jokes resurfaced. After backlash from the public, Hart stepped down as host.

"I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's....this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists," he wrote in a tweet. "I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past … I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart."

Read more: 20 LGBTQ figures you should know

After Paris Hilton was caught criticizing the gay community in an audio recording, she apologized, saying, "Gay people are the strongest and most inspiring people I know."

Paris Hilton

In 2012, an audio recording of Paris Hilton in a taxi cab was leaked. According to reports, she was in the car with a gay man who was showing her the gay dating app, Grindr.

In the audio, you can hear Hilton say, "Gay guys are the horniest people in the world. They're disgusting. Dude, most of them probably have AIDS. ... I would be so scared if I were a gay guy. You'll like, die of AIDS."

Her publicist confirmed that the recording was in fact Hilton but emphasized the socialite was not homophobic.

In an apology statement, Hilton said, "I am so sorry and so upset that I caused pain to my gay friends, fans, and their families. Gay people are the strongest and most inspiring people I know."

After a member of the audience called out Tracy Morgan for his anti-gay remarks during a standup set, the comedian apologized.

tracy morgan
Tracy Morgan. Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

In 2011, a man chronicled Tracy Morgan's standup set in Nashville on Facebook. In the post, the man said Morgan said being gay is a choice because "God makes no mistakes." The comedian also allegedly said he would stab his son if he came out as gay.

After backlash and a half-hearted apology on "Late Show with David Letterman," Morgan issued an official apology.

"I want to apologize to my fans and the gay & lesbian community for my choice of words at my recent stand-up act in Nashville," he said. "I'm not a hateful person and don't condone any kind of violence against others. While I am an equal opportunity jokester, and my friends know what is in my heart, even in a comedy club this clearly went too far and was not funny in any context."

Sarah Silverman used a gay slur in a 2010 tweet. When asked about it in 2018, she said, "I'm certainly creative enough to think of other words besides that that don't hurt people."

sarah silverman
Sarah Silverman. Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for FIJI Water

In 2010, Sarah Silverman tweeted, "I don't mean this in a hateful way but the new bachelorette's a f-----." Although the tweet went relatively unnoticed at the time, it picked up momentum again in 2018 when people pointed out that it was unfair for Kevin Hart to step down from hosting the Oscars for doing something similar.

"Yea, I'm done with that," Silverman told TMZ when she was asked about it in 2018. "I think I can find other ways to be funny. I used to say 'gay' all the time like, 'That's so gay!' Because we're from Boston. We'd go, 'That's what you say in Boston. I have gay friends. I just say gay.' Then I heard myself, and I realized I was like the guy who'd say, 'What? I say colored. I have colored friends.' I realized it's stupid, and I'm certainly creative enough to think of other words besides that that don't hurt people. But I f--- up all the time."

Read more: 32 inspiring photos of same-sex weddings around the world

Eminem has been criticized for using gay slurs in his songs, but he insists he isn't homophobic.

Eminem. Theo Wargo/Getty Images

In 2018, Eminem released his album, "Kamikaze." In one song titled "The Fall," he focuses on fellow rapper Tyler, The Creator.

In the song, Eminem raps," "Tyler create nothin', I see why you called yourself a f----t, b----."

This wasn't the first time rapper had been criticized for using a gay slut. Throughout his career, he has used similar words in his songs and received a lot of criticism for it.

Eminem, however, insists he is not homophobic.

"The honest-to-God truth is that none of that matters to me: I have no issue with someone's sexuality, religion, race, none of that," the rapper told Vulture. "Anyone who's followed my music knows I'm against bullies — that's why I hate that f---ing bully Trump — and I hate the idea that a kid who's gay might get s--- for it."

Mel Gibson mocked how gay men act in the early '90s.

Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson. John Phillips/ Getty Images

While doing an interview in 2001 for Spanish newspaper El Pais, Gibson said, "With this look, who's going to think I'm gay? I don't lend myself to that type of confusion. Do I look like a homosexual? Do I talk like them? Do I move like them?"

Throughout the '90s, GLAAD protested Gibson's films, but the actor refused to apologize.

"I'll apologize when hell freeze over," he said. "They can f--- off."

Alec Baldwin went on a homophobic Twitter rant against a reporter he did not agree with. He later said his remarks were "in no way was the result of homophobia."

Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin. David Buchan/Getty Images

In 2013, Daily Mail reporter George Stark wrote a story accusing Alec Baldwin's wife, Hilaria, of tweeting at James Gandolfini's funeral. Baldwin took to Twitter to express his anger at Stark, calling the reporter a "toxic little queen," among other comments.

In an interview with the Gothamist after the incident, Baldwin stood by his decision to call the reporter a "queen."

"The idea of me calling this guy a 'queen' and that being something that people thought is homophobic … a queen to me has a different meaning. It's somebody who's just above," he told the publication. "It doesn't have any necessarily sexual connotations," Baldwin said. "To me a queen ... I know women that act queeny, I know men that are straight that act queeny, and I know gay men that act queeny. It doesn't have to be a definite sexual connotation or a homophobic connotation."

He later issued an official apology, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"My anger was directed at Mr. Stark for blatantly lying and disseminating libelous information about my wife and her conduct at our friend's funeral service. As someone who fights against homophobia, I apologize," Baldwin said. "I would not advocate violence against someone for being gay, and I hope that my friends at GLAAD and the gay community understand that my attack on Mr. Stark in no way was the result of homophobia."

Read more: 20 inspiring photos of families around the world with same-sex parents

Chris Brown also used homophobic language when talking about another rapper, but he later said, "I love all my gay fans."

Chris Brown
Chris Brown. Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

In 2010, rapper Raz provoked Chris Brown when he tweeted about Brown's past assault on Rihanna. Brown responded by attacking Raz on Twitter, referencing the fact that Raz was molested by another man as a child and calling him a "#homothug."

"I'm not homophobic! He's just disrespectful," Brown tweeted later. "BTW…I love all my gay fans and this immature act is not targeted at you!!!! Love."

Azealia Banks has a long history of problematic comments, but she has since said she will no longer use gay slurs.

Azealia Banks
Azealia Banks. John Sciulli/Getty Images for Nasty Gal

In 2015, singer Azealia Banks was caught on camera yelling at a flight attendant after getting into a fight with a fellow passenger. In the video, you can hear Banks call the flight attendant a gay slur, according to HuffPost.

She later tweeted about the incident, writing, "I don't care. I've said it before and I'll say it again."

Banks' history with the word doesn't stop there. In 2016, she used the word to attack fellow singer Zayn Malik on Twitter, leading to the deactivation of her account. She has also called the LGBTQ community "the gay white KKK. Get some pink hoods and unicorns and rally down rodeo drive."

In 2016, however, she announced she is never using the gay slur again. "The amount of people that get hurt when I use the word vs. the amount of people I've said it to are just not worth it," she wrote on Facebook. "Honestly... This isn't a cop-out, it's just me realizing that words hurt. and while I may be immune to every word and be thicker skinned than most, it doesn't mean that I get to go around treating people with the same toughness that made my skin so thick."

Drake Bell received backlash after posting a transphobic tweet. He later called the remarks "thoughtless."

Drake Bell
Drake Bell. Steve Granitz/Gety Images

When Caitlin Jenner came out as transgender in 2015, Nickelodeon actor and singer Drake Bell tweeted, "Sorry...still calling you Bruce." After receiving backlash, he deleted the tweet and then posted another, misgendering Jenner.

"I'm not dissing him! I just don't want to forget his legacy! He is the greatest athlete of all time," Bell tweeted. "Chill out!"

After that, he tweeted out an apology.

"I sincerely apologize for my thoughtless insensitive remarks," Bell wrote. "I in no way meant to hurt or demean those going through a similar journey. Although my comments were made in innocence, I deeply regret the negative effect they've had on so many."

Read more: 16 transgender celebrities who are changing television

Read the original article on Insider