Actor and MSNBC host Alec Baldwin said Saturday that the future of his weekly talk show is in doubt. He made the announcement in a blog entry published at Huffington Post on Saturday morning.
After he allegedly used the expletive “c*ck-s*cking f*ggot” to refer to a paparazzo, Baldwin’s Friday night show “Up Late” was suspended for two weeks. Now, he wrote Saturday, “(w)hether the show comes back at all is at issue right now.”
Baldwin insisted that he is being unfairly maligned and that he never said the word “f*ggot.”
“I never used the word f*ggot in the tape recording being offered as evidence against me,” he wrote. “What word is said right after the other choice word I use is unclear. But I can assure you, with complete confidence, that a direct homophobic slur (or indirect one for that matter) is not spoken.”
The actor claims he “would never allow [him]self to make the mistake again” of using a homophobic slur after the uproar that ensued in June of this year when he called Daily Mail reporter George Stark a “toxic little queen” in a Twitter feud.
He said that he understands MSNBC’s decision to suspend the show and offered his apologies to the producers and other personnel who worked on putting together the show’s documentary about the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper lit into Baldwin’s alleged behavior on Twitter, writing, “Wow, Alec Baldwin shows his true colors yet again. How is he going to lie and excuse his anti-gay slurs this time?”
He went on, “I never suggested he had to apologize. He can say whatever he wants, but then why repeatedly lie about it afterwards?”
When Cooper read Baldwin’s explanation about the incident, he wrote, “Just read Alec Baldwin’s latest excuses. They are actually so ridiculous they are funny.”
In his blog post, Baldwin complained about paparazzi blocking his street and threatening his wife’s safety. He claimed that the “lie” that he is a “homophobic bigot” has spread around the world much faster than the news that celebrities are hounded to distraction by a “hockey brawl” of photographers every time they enter or exit a building.
“Two requests,” he concluded. “Don’t allow my problem to be MSNBC’s problem. They are good people who work hard at a job, just like many of you. And two, please respect the privacy of my wife and family. If you have an opinion of me, then express it. Think what you like. But I ask that my wife, who I care about more than words can say, and both my children, be left out of this.”
Baldwin’s show has thus far been a ratings disappointment, starting low and sinking lower in subsequent weeks.
Even before the flap about the alleged anti-gay remarks, said the L.A. Times, ratings for “Up Late” “skidded to fewer than 400,000 total viewers, losing more than two-fifths of his premiere week audience, according to Nielsen. In the core demographic of adults ages 25 to 54, barely 100,000 people tuned in — a new low.”