Old Racist, Homophobic Remarks Catch Up with the New Paris Hilton

Tuesday January 31, 2023

Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton  (Source:Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

Paris Hilton may be creating a glossy new image of herself, but old videos have resurfaced that show the celebutante hurling racial and anti-LGBTQ+ invective.

BuzzFeed News took a deep dive into a trove of old videos, contrasting what that footage depicted with the new image Hilton has projected through a documentary, a new reality series, a podcast, and more.

"In 2020, Paris Hilton released a documentary called 'This Is Paris,' which vowed to reveal the real person behind the celebrity persona," the outlet recalled, noting that Hilton had admitted playing up her previous image, cultivated in an early 2000s reality show in which she "even changed her natural speaking voice when she was in front of the camera to make herself sound less intelligent."

"When asked why she wanted to unveil the real her now, Paris said: 'For my legacy and what I wanted to be remembered for.'"

Added Hilton: "I don't want to be remembered as some airhead. I want to be respected for the businesswoman that I am."

"But some people have recently expressed their confusion at Paris's image overhaul and questioned how her career in the public eye has managed to thrive despite her long history of problematic comments and behavior," BuzzFeed News added, before reminding readers about a trove of anecdotes culled from caught-on-video moments from the aughts in which Hilton hurled the N-word in various contexts and called one man a "faggot," among other problematic moments.

BuzzFeed recounted that Hilton also made anti-Semitic comments.

"I'm not going to make any attempt to spin this," the outlet quoted Hilton's publicist at the time, Elliot Mintz, as saying in 2007 of one of the videos. "This was six years ago. She was 20 at the time. It was New Year's Eve. She had been obviously drinking. She sincerely regrets using those words. She is not a racist or an anti-Semite."

An ex-friend, Brandon Davis, begged to differ, claiming that Hilton habitually used racially offensive words. "She puts down Jews and other minorities, too. And I'm Jewish. I found it depressing," Davis said, adding: "I don't want anything to do with her. I don't need anything from her. She is no longer my friend. She's just not a nice person."

In 2012, the article went on to detail, "RadarOnline obtained an audio recording of Paris making anti-gay comments during a taxi ride, which was recorded by the driver."

"Gay guys are the horniest people in the world," Hilton reportedly said, during a conversation about Grindr. "They're disgusting. Dude, most of them probably have AIDS."

A rep spun those comments as Hilton advocating for safer sex, and said, "Paris Hilton is a huge supporter of the gay community and would never purposefully make any negative statements about anyone's sexual orientation."

Hilton herself undertook damage control after those comments were made public, sharing a statement with GLAAD in which she said she was "so sorry and so upset that I caused pain to my gay friends, fans and their families," and declaring, "Gay people are the strongest and most inspiring people I know."

"While most of the leaked videos of Paris have since been scrubbed from the internet, they have not been scrubbed from people's memories," BuzzFeed mulled, "and over the weekend, one Reddit user reignited the conversation when they asked: 'Why does it seem everyone has forgotten Paris Hilton's history of racist and homophobic remarks?'"

The leading theories in response ranged from younger fans simply not having been there to have heard about those comments when they happened to older people's selective memories editing out Hilton's more problematic episodes.

But another person, BuzzFeed said, offered this: "her rebrand has been so effective that it's not sending people looking."