Did Ed O’Neill use a homophobic slur in a recent interview?

For the record, I was looking around to see if I could find any other site or reference to these comments that Ed O’Neill allegedly made, and I can’t find one single reference to it. So either The Enquirer is completely making this up, or they got a scoop on a Rolling Stone interview in which O’Neill actually drops the f-bomb. Not f—k. Allegedly, Ed says “f-g”. I’m not going to use the unedited word, just because… I don’t want to. I think it’s an ugly word. So, if you believe that The Enquirer might have gotten a scoop (it’s happened before), and you believe that Ed O’Neill is capable of dropping an old-school f-bomb, then here you go:

Modern Family’s tough-talking patriarch Ed O’Neill rocked the set by tossing off a shocking gay slur during a profanity-laced interview. O’Neill was talking about his days as a hot-headed college football player who took delight in taunting opposing coaches. O’Neill told Rolling Stone that if a coach yelled at him for a rule violation, he would explode in a string of expletives and question his critic’s manhood by snapping: “What are you, a f-g?”

O’Neill said those tirades “just made me happy.”

But his callous crack has thrown the Modern Family set into turmoil. It was a slap in the face to Ed’s openly gay co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays his homosexual son Mitchell.

“Jesse realizes that Ed probably wasn’t thinking when he said that, but it doesn’t make the words any less hurtful,” a set insider told The Enquirer. And the remark hit especially hard “because Modern Family is the most gay-friendly show on TV. Ed’s coming off as a totally tasteless, inconsiderate bonehead!”

The insider explains: “Ed sometimes suffers from foot-in-mouth disease. But he’s got tons of gay friends and doesn’t have a homophobic bone in his body.”

[From The Enquirer, print edition]

It would be interesting to know if there was even more context for the comment, like, was Ed telling a story about how his views on homosexuality have changed over the years? Because I get the feeling, the sense the sense that Ed is very old-school, and yes, he’s probably dropped the f-bomb many times in his life. But I also think that some people get mellower as they age, and they stop caring about this kind of BS. Maybe I’m making excuses for him. I don’t know. I just don’t feel comfortable going full-throttle Isaiah Washington on Ed considering I don’t know IF he actually said this and in what context.

Incidentally, I get the feeling sometimes that the tabloids would love it if Sofia Vergara and Julie Bowen were cat-fighting constantly, but from what I can see, those two women get along really well. But if you told me that Jesse and Ed had some cat-fights off the set, I would believe you, with or without this story.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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32 Responses to “Did Ed O’Neill use a homophobic slur in a recent interview?”

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  1. Lilo says:

    He recalled his times as a college student and football player waaaay back in the days…things were different then. Times have changed since (thankfully) and what he said back then and might even thought of as funny does not at ALL mean, that he actually was homophobic. Some 30 years ago it was normal to use such hating words (same with the n-word for african-american people…it was thrown around constantly and oftentimes not even in a degrading sense) and sadly nobody minded.

    I don’t think this one word makes him a homophobic. Society todays is SO scared to say anything remotely offending anyone, that even the tiniest glib becomes an issue, a scandal.

    • bea says:

      Exactly right.

    • su says:

      Urm what? Are you trying to suggest that his use of the f-word isn’t offensive because he ‘used it a as a dumb kid’? this isnt a case of people being scared of offending anyone, this is a case of actually saying something offensive and then not expecting to be held accountable fr it. The nword was NOT used a liberally as it is now, in the past, and it IS a slur used to denigrate black people. Where the hell are you getting this nonsense from? Just because ot was normal doesnt mean it was right, it just meant it was ORE ACCEPTABLE TO BE OPENLY RACIST. Educate yourself before spouting such tripe. You do not get to dictate how people feel about a word that is used to denigrate them.

  2. whatthehell456 says:

    I think he said it while quoting himself in the past. I have no doubt that word was part of his regular vocabulary in his youth as it was with a lot of people before realizing how hurtful it is. I doubt he’d be foolish enough to drop it now.

  3. Saphana says:

    its the usual lets find something to take someone down. they dont want to fight homophobia or racism they just want to point at someone “look what he said”.

    its really a non story, an old guy talking about how he talked in his youth forty years ago.

  4. CuteC says:

    I have my doubts about the story. Ed’s from my hometown. He and my grandfather grew up on the city’s northside only 4 blocks from each other during the same time period. They’re a lot alike in personality and the way they talk. Would the N-bomb get dropped, yes. But never the F-bomb. And if it happened to get used, it was in referrence to an old nickname for a cigarette, not a homophobic slur.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Is this a defense of him? Because N-word is just as bad as F-word, maybe even worse.

      • CuteC says:

        No, not a defense. Just stating the general mentallity of people that came from the area years ago. And at that time period, it was the general mentallity of nearly the entire country…we’re talking about the 1950s and 1960s. Nothing recent.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Oh ok I get what you’re saying.

  5. spinner says:

    Good grief…he was telling stories of his glory days & gave us a glimpse of how things used to be as compared to where we are now. Is that not allowed either?? Now we have to rewrite History to appease the PC Gods?? We need to take note of History for fear of repeating it.

  6. Lem says:

    It wasn’t too very long ago that this word suddenly became unacceptable.
    In all the current PC overzealousness I sometimes wonder which words I currently use without thought will be unacceptable next.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      I hate overzealous PC sh*t more than anyone but I don’t think this word being considered offensive is a new thing.
      I’m 33 and I’ve been told my whole life to never use it so for at least 30 years, it’s been considered “offensive”.

      Although people DO say it in the UK in reference to cigarettes and I’ve always found it rather startling, since it has been drilled into my mind as an offensive term.

      • Lem says:

        You could be correct. I don’t remember a single case of it causing a stir before Isaiah Washington used it in such an obviously aggressive negative connotation.
        I just don’t have any recollection of that word causing a fuss or getting spelled with a * before that. Before that, it seemed to be both an insult hurled by narrow minded male bullies towards other males and a term gays openly used in all manner of context.
        Again, maybe I just never notice before then.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Well the asterix thing is definitely new. It is weird though that we’re at the point where even typing out the full word somehow feels shameful.

      • Javagirl1 says:

        I lived in the UK for 6 months, and it was a little startling to hear that word. I got used to saying it though when I needed a cigarette ;)

  7. KellyinSeattle says:

    Here I am , reading about ed o’neill, and I’m looking like Peg Bundy drinking my coffee – :) I really liked Married w/ Children. About his rantings, whatever. I don’t think he meant it in an offense way; like I don’t think Clint Eastwood talks to chairs regularly.

  8. Darth says:

    His lesbian co-star Amanda Bearse on Married With Children came out all the way back in 1993 when a celebrity REALLY had something to lose by being gay. Both her & Christina Applegate are HUGE gay rights advocates. If Ed O’Neil were at all homophobic I’m sure these 2 women would have known about it, and being as outspoken as they both are I’m sure they would have let it be known that he was.
    Seems like he was just referencing a time when he was an immature young man.

    • Minty says:

      That makes sense and it could be the case for Ed. If Amanda and Christina are still friends with him (are they?), then he’s very different from his ignorant youth.

      N—– & f– need to be thrown onto the pile of dead languages.

      BUT, let’s not forget that when it comes to homophobic men, there’s often a glaring double standard. These type of guys are intolerant or actively hate gay men, but have no problem with lesbians, particularly if they’re hot/feminine-looking. They’ll even encourage it because it plays into their sexual fantasies: having a threesome with 2 women, etc. I mean, why else are there so many girl-on-girl scenes in “straight” p0rn?

      In mainstream entertainment, it’s still risky for male celebrities to be openly gay if they want careers as gangsta rappers or roles as action heroes. In that case, a heterosexual image is everything. Things are changing, albeit slowly. Also, bisexual men seem to get more of a pass.

      However, female celebrities definitely enhance their street cred or edginess or whatever when they present themselves as gay or bi or curious (Ex: Angelina, Amber Heard, Rihanna, Madonna, Katy Perry, etc.) It helps their careers. Like I said, double standards and that threesome fantasy many straight men have.

      I’ve always found it silly that in our society a man is always in danger of losing his heterosexuality. Like, if he wears a pink shirt, or sucks at a sport, or likes Broadway tunes (all stereotypes, I know) he’s called a f–. In an instant, he’s no longer straight. Wow, weird logic. Or a type of male insecurity. You’re born with your sexual orientation. Something as trivial as a color or song choice won’t cause you to switch teams.

  9. Lisa says:


  10. buckley says:

    I read this interview.
    Bit off topic, but the part I remember most(as a huge Deadwood fan) is that David Milch told him he wrote Deadwood’s Swearengen character for him.
    Any Deadwood fans?
    No way could he be better than the incredible Ian McShane.

  11. bored_01 says:

    Meh. I’ll give him a pass on this one.

  12. Hakura says:

    I believe the politically correct-obsessed mob had already lit their torches & were marching without fully reading or understanding the story, thus taking that whole thing out of proportion.

    It really is like villagers ascending to the dark castle on the hill…Except in today’s day & age, said ‘villagers’ light their torches via posting about things on social networking sites. So the word spreads as originally interpretted without correction regarding ‘context’.

  13. Frandela says:

    FYI, in UK:
    Fag = cigarette
    Faggot = old fashioned meatball-like beef offall thing.
    Not that anyone eats the latter anymore.

  14. Frandela says:

    FYI, in UK:
    F*g = cigarette
    F*ggot = old fashioned meatball-like beef offall thing.
    Not that anyone eats the latter anymore.

  15. karen says:

    i read the article in Rolling Stone and he did say the word, but he was a kid a loong time ago. i am sure he has changed today – i hope.