MSNBC suspends Alec Baldwin’s show for 2 episodes
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alec Baldwin’s new weekly MSNBC talk show was suspended for two episodes after the actor was videotaped using an anti-gay epithet against a photographer during a New York street encounter.
The cable channel didn’t specify the reason it yanked Friday night’s “Up Late with Alec Baldwin” from its schedule this week and next, but the decision came the day after the Thursday run-in.
In a statement on MSNBC website, Baldwin wrote that he “did not intend to hurt or offend anyone with my choice of words, but clearly I have — and for that I am deeply sorry.”
He said his actions came as he tried to protect his family — presumably from the photographer — but were unacceptable and undermine “hard-fought rights that I vigorously support.”
The video, which was posted on TMZ, also drew a tweeted apology from Baldwin in which he claimed he was unaware the term he used was offensive to gays.
MSNBC declined further comment. Baldwin’s representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The incident came during the week a Canadian actress was convicted in New York of stalking Baldwin with calls, emails and visits over a two-year period. Genevieve Sabourin was sentenced to six months in jail in addition to a month she’s already serving for her courtroom outbursts.
Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria, said in a statement afterward that the two “feel safe, relieved and happy to move forward” with the case resolved.
But Baldwin reportedly lost his cool again Friday when a reporter for a New York TV channel asked about the trial and, according to Variety.com, Baldwin called him “dumb.” The exchange took place outside Baldwin’s apartment building, the website said.
Baldwin’s career has included Oscar and Tony nominations and originating action hero Jack Ryan in the 1990 film “The Hunt for Red October” as well as his Emmy-winning turn on “30 Rock.”
He’s also known for his temper. He was kicked off a plane in 2011 after refusing to stop playing a cellphone game, and he’s gotten into confrontations with news photographers. He and a New York Post lensman filed harassment complaints against each other after an altercation in February, and a Daily News photographer said Baldwin punched him in 2012, which Baldwin denied.