After MSNBC suspended Alec Baldwin's talk show Up Late for two weeks in the wake of the actor's apparent use of an anti-gay slur, the actor has now said the talk show might never return.
"Whether the show comes back at all is at issue right now," Baldwin wrote onThe Huffington Post. "The show is no doubt a work in progress and one that I believe featured some interesting guests and disseminated a good deal of interesting information. But if the show dies, its fate ends up being no different than the vast majority of start-up TV programming, and so be it."
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Baldwin also took the opportunity to address the accusations that he recently directed a homophobic epithet at a photographer. "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 ... My friends who happen to be gay are baffled by this. They see me as one who has recently fought for marriage equality and has been a supporter of gay rights for many years. Now, the charge of being a 'homophobic bigot,' to quote one crusader in the gay community, is affixed."
The actor explains his frustration at how the good he's done (his foundation donated over $11 million of a projected $15 million from his Capital One ads) goes unnoticed while stories of his alleged bigotry travel "at light speed and, at least in the case of those who like their internet news without fact or reflection, is accepted, even cheered, without a moment of doubt."
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Baldwin then turns the table on the press and American people who fuel the tabloid industry. "This country's obsession with the private lives of famous people is tragic. It's tragic in the sense that it is so clearly a projection of people's frustration about their government, their economy, their own spiritual bankruptcy. You have no voice in Washington. In Washington, or in any statehouse, no one actually cares what you think. So you post online, you vote with a Roman-esque thumbs up or down on the celebrity debacle of the day. That is your right. It's also fatal misdirection of your voice and need to judge. Occupy Wall Street, on their worst day, had more integrity than the comments page of a website ever will," he wrote.
"If you have an opinion of me, then express it. Think what you like," Baldwin added. "But I ask that my wife, who I care about more than words can say, and both my children, be left out of this."
"If quitting the television business, the movie business, the theatre, any component of entertainment, is necessary in order to bring safety and peace to my family, then that is an easy decision," Baldwin explained.