Perez Hilton has an infamous reputation for criticizing, outing and even engaging in altercations with celebrities. But the recent surge of teen suicides due to harassment and bullying has served as a wake-up call for the blogger. In a Wednesday (October 13) appearance on “Ellen,” Hilton announced that he no longer wants to be perceived in a negative light and has ended his star-bashing ways.
Prior to the blogger announcing his pledge, host Ellen DeGeneres revealed that many advised her to pass on Hilton’s appearance on her show. But she said she believed in second changes and applauded the star for admitting his wrongdoings.
“Over the last two weeks, I have been doing everything I can to bring awareness to the issue of teen suicides and gay bullying,” Hilton told DeGeneres. “In doing so, a lot of people have called me a hypocrite and a bully myself and a big one. That’s not how I want to be perceived, and that’s not what I want to put out there into the world. It was a big wake-up call that so many people saw me that way, so from now on I really want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.”
Known for giving celebrities not-so-nice nicknames and drawing rather inappropriate things on their pictures, Perez said he’s going to try to use his smarts and wit to keep his viewers entertained.
“I want to be the change that I want to see in others. I’m going to do things differently on my website than I have in the past,” the celebrity blogger said. “I’m not going to call people nasty nicknames. I’m not going to go the mean route. I’m going to force myself to try and be funnier or smarter or just do things different, not doodle inappropriate things, not out people, which I have done all of those things in the past.”
When asked why he continued his harsh commentary when he knew he’d hurt people, Perez told the host that he kept making up excuses to justify his actions. One of those many excuses included his argument that celebrities are adults and essentially signed themselves up to be criticized and judged in front of the world.
DeGeneres countered the star’s claim, suggesting that even though adults spew negativity at each other, it gives everyone the impression that it is OK to do the same among their peers.
Hilton said that he has grown as a person since his early gossip days. “I was 26 when I started my website, and I’m going to be 33 now,” he said. “I’ve grown and evolved as a person, and I think it’s time for my website to grow and evolve and change as well.”
Ultimately, Perez knows his errors and is looking forward to a brighter future that includes being a representative for the gay community. “I want to be able continue to speak out on the gay bullying and teen suicides,” he said, “and I want to be able to go to the gay rallies and the marches, like I have in the past, and not have people in my own community feel ashamed about me or embarrassed. I have started and I’ve already started to do things differently, and it was scary and wasn’t easy, but I feel like it was the right thing to do for myself and the world.”
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