Billy Eichner dislikes gay slurs but says intent is important when used

Fri. December 14, 2018 1:49 PM by

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.

(Related: Kevin 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 wrote.

"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, affection.""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.

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