Gay comedian Billy Eichner has responded to attempts to call out Amy Schumer, Chelsea Handler and Sarah Silverman for using anti-gay slurs.

Musician and actor Nick Cannon resurfaced tweets in which the three white female comics used the word “fags,” after comic Kevin Hart faced backlash over historical anti-gay tweets that led him to quit as host of the 2019 Oscars.



Cannon provoked a debate within the LGBT+ community about the response to the comedians compared to Hart, who sent tweets attacking “fags” as recently as 2012, while in his 2010 comedy tour he said: “As a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”

Billy Eichner: Just don’t use that word

In a lengthy Twitter response, gay comic Billy Eichner acknowledged: “I think Nick’s point is a compelling one.”

He continued: “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.”

Billy Eichner responded to resurfaced tweets showing Amy Schumer, Chelsea Handler and Sarah Silverman using the slurs 'fag' and 'faggot'
Nick Cannon pointed out the messages from Amy Schumer, Chelsea Handler and Sarah Silverman

Eichner added: “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.”

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He continued: “I do think there is a sizeable 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 behaviour. HOWEVER – that is an explanation, not an excuse.

“The best thing to do is to just not use the damn word.”

— Billy Eichner

“I agree that the best thing to do is to just not use the damn word! As a gay man, unless it’s perhaps a gay friend of mine saying it to me at a LIVELY BRUNCH, I don’t like hearing it.

“Even when I know it’s coming from an ally – and certainly when I know that it isn’t. It’s not a fun word for us to hear at this point. We’ve come too far. So maybe let’s just drop it.”

Billy Eichner also warned against ‘cancellation’ culture

The comedian warned against internet outrage mentality, saying: “I don’t like that word but I also don’t like ‘cancellation’ culture. Like I said in my first tweet about the Kevin Hart situation, many of us, myself included, have made jokes/tweets in the past that we deeply regret.

“Kevin decided to quit on his own volition. He had his reasons and that’s obviously his prerogative. But I’m not into people being permanently ‘cancelled’ over something like this.

“To me, ‘cancellation’ is childish. I’m into conversation, not cancellation.”

He added: “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.”

Eichner quipped: “And with that, I would like to announce my candidacy for President of the United States.”




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