Jay Leno Apologizes for "Gayest Look" Comment During Ryan Phillippe Interview

Tue. April 1, 2008 12:00 AM by Kevin Wayne

Los Angeles, CA - Jay Leno apologized Tuesday for on-air remarks he made during an interview with Ryan Phillippe when he asked the 33-year-old actor - who played daytime TV's first gay teen character on ABC's "One Life to Live" - to give him his "gayest look."

"In talking about Ryan's first role, I realize that what I said came out wrong," the host of NBC's Tonight Show said in a statement to People magazine. "I certainly didn't mean any malice. I agree it was a dumb thing to say, and I apologize."

Last week, the 57-year-old Leno shocked viewers and came under criticism when he said to Phillippe, ""Can you give me, like – say that camera is your gay lover..."

Leno continued to push Phillippe who appeared uncomfortable with the exchange. "Can you give me your 'gayest look?' "

"Wow," replied Phillippe, "That is so something I don't want to do."

"We are proud of Ryan for refusing to participate in Leno's thoughtless attempt at humor," said GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano. "Under the guise of comedy, the talk-show host is demonstrating a lack of respect for the gay community and insensitivity to both his co-workers and the audience, to whom he owes an apology."

View the Tonight Show episode: