MSNBC suspended Alec Baldwin along with his month-old interview show on Friday after his latest confrontation with reporters in which he hurled homophobic slurs.
“Up Late” was not on telecast Friday night, and now the network has said that it would not be shown next week, either.
Friday night, Alec Baldwin issued a formal apology through a statement only after news of the suspension leaked to the media. The statement read:
I did not intend to hurt or offend anyone with my choice of words, but clearly I have — and for that I am deeply sorry. Words are important. I understand that, and will choose mine with great care going forward. What I said and did this week, as I was trying to protect my family, was offensive and unacceptable. Behavior like this undermines hard-fought rights that I vigorously support.
The latest confrontation came on Thursday when a photographer trying to get pictures of Mr. Baldwin leaving his Manhattan apartment with his wife and baby was met with vulgarity and, yet again, another gay slur. Video from the website TMZ caught the actor in the act, using at least one vulgarity.
Of course, as is typical of Alec Baldwin, he denied using the gay slur. However, by Friday after widespread condemnation Baldwin conceded via Twitter that he had used an offensive word. “I apologize and will retire it from my vocabulary,” he said.
This was not the first time progressive Alec Baldwin was accused of making homophobic comments, and many say it won’t be the last. Last summer, Baldwin apologized after calling a male reporter a “toxic little queen” and also threatening to beat him up.
Typically, the actor is given a pass for his vial comments, because of his known progressive, leftist leanings. However, numerous representatives of the gay community have spoken out against Mr. Baldwin, including the organization GLAAD, which hammered the actor for having a history of speaking out against discrimination, yet at the same time having a history of speaking gay slurs. GLAAD said: “Mr. Baldwin can’t lend his support for equality on paper, while degrading gay people in practice,” and added: “It’s clearly time he listens to the calls from so many L.G.B.T. people and allies to end this pattern of antigay slurs.”
This week, Baldwin testified against a woman accused of stalking him. The woman was convicted and sentenced to 7 months in jail.