Alec Baldwin is a brilliant performer, armed to the teeth with outstanding comedic sensibilities. Wasn’t he great as Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock for seven seasons?! And how about all 16 times he hosted Saturday Night Live? Not too shabby, right? He’s even made watching credit card commercials moderately entertaining. But there’s another side to Alec Baldwin. You see, in addition to his unmatched skills in front of the camera, Alec Baldwin is a supreme jerk. And in light of his lifelong jerkiness and the most recent manifestation thereof, Alec Baldwin needs to take a beat and just shut up.
And let me be clear. Being a jerk is ok. Some of my favorite comedians and actors are probably total jerks. But they don’t blame a bunch of other people for them being a jerk. Let me be more clear, before you start commenting about how this is a comedy site and that how I should be a champion of free speech. Yes, you’re right. Free speech all the way! I love free speech. I love that Baldwin can say whatever he wants. But that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be repercussions. And that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to request that he shut up so that he doesn’t sink his career and so that we — comedy lovers — can see him on television and in movies forever more!
If somehow you’re unaware of Baldwin’s recent fall from relative grace, here’s a summary: He reportedly called a New York City photographer a “cocksucking faggot.” His then-employer MSNBC then suspended his newly launched chat show Up Late. Yesterday, they announced the show was finished.
And instead of just shutting up and maybe just hanging out with his wife and newborn baby, he decided to react to the firing. On record. Because his judgment is stellar. He told Gothamist, in part, the following:
I dispute half the comment I made… if I called him ‘cocksucking maggot’ or a ‘cocksucking motherfucker’… ‘faggot’ is not the word that came out of my mouth. That I know. But you’ve got the fundamentalist wing of gay advocacy — Rich Ferraro and Andrew Sullivan — they’re out there, they’ve got you. Rich Ferraro, this is probably one of his greatest triumphs. They killed my show. And I have to take some responsibility for that myself.
I honestly don’t think any of what Baldwin said is proof of some underlying homophobia, as some have speculated. Although, I think he’s missing the point. If he called a male photographer a “cocksucking” anything, he’s established the homophobic vibe. But I get it. He hates political correctness and fake outrage and fundamentalists of all stripes– and he wants to be free to throw around the word “cocksucker.” But if he’s going to keep saying silly things to the press (see above), he’s got to stop crying about how the media is to blame for his bad reputation or that people who stand up for equal rights are trying to bring him down. So, for the sake of your fans, Mr. Baldwin, please just shhhhhhhhhh……