I’ve long had suspicions that Jonah Hill might actually be kind of a good guy, and this goes a long way toward confirming that: after receiving a classic bit of angry, aggressive trolling via Instagram, Hill responded with kindness and compassion, and used the incident to open a discussion about online anger.
Under a fan-made poster for Hill’s recent film mid90s, the anonymous account wrote:
You are such a fucking poser pompus [sic] douchebag. You were a fat nerd when you were a kid and the fact that you think you were a skater isn’t being true to yourself. Embrace that you were a dork and be real.
Hill responded to the comment, saying:
I was both. That is being true to myself. This is just a poster I appreciated from someone who enjoyed our film. I can tell you’re in a lot of pain. That must feel shitty. Hit me up if you need someone to talk to. Anger is just sadness held in too long. I’m here for you dude.
He then posted a follow-up, showing both the original comment and his response, and saying in the caption:
I see a lot of anger on here. At first it sucks to read and then I realize it’s just the pain of that person repackaged and redirected. I want to keep my word to offer to talk to people in pain and will donate as much of my free time to this as possible. But I’m realizing there are more than I can personally handle. Maybe there’s a way to structure this so there’s a number you can call and just talk to people with that anger and pain instead of doing something negative with it. I’m down to give as much of my free time as possible to this endeavor but maybe some of you can help me start something for real. If anyone has any experience with this kind of thing maybe we can start a service and all volunteer? I don’t know. This is just a thought and I’d love to explore a way to do it with any of you out there. Let me know. Thanks.
A bunch of celeb mates have voiced their support for Hill’s ideas, which is honestly so encouraging. Hill is not the first to respond to trolls with compassion, or at least humanity – writer Lindy West famously tracked down one of her persistent trolls and opened a conversation with him. Here’s hoping more people in the position to do so will do the same.