Alec Baldwin has written a goodbye to public life letter in New York Magazine entitled “I Give Up,” in which he covers a truly impressive amount of ground over the course of 5,000+ words. In what I can only assume was supposed to be an explanation of the somewhat erratic year that Baldwin’s had (his play, Orphans, had that snafu with Shia LaBeouf, his short-lived MSNBC talk show was canceled, he attacked a photographer, and over the course of multiple public uses of gay slurs, became known for being a homophobe), Baldwin blames a remarkable number of people who are not himself for his current public perception problem. He also makes a number of blatantly homophobic statements that do little to exonerate him. This is called digging yourself a deeper hole.
1. He starts with a zinger right out of the gate in the very first sentence of the piece:
I flew to Hawaii recently to shoot a film, fresh on the heels of being labeled a homophobic bigot by Andrew Sullivan, Anderson Cooper, and others in the Gay Department of Justice.
Do you guys think the Gay Department of Justice is hiring?
2. Baldwin met with a human rights group during his time in Hawaii, where he met “one young man, an F-to-M tranny,” who questioned his intentions for meeting with them in the first place. I literally don’t have anything to say about that because my jaw is still on the floor.
3. And how did Baldwin answer that man–who he qualified with an obvious slur?
I want to learn about what is hurtful speech in your community.
It looks like that might not have gone great.
4. UPDATE: Alec Baldwin has gay friends.
Am I a homophobe? Look, I work in show business. I am awash in gay people, as colleagues and as friends. I’m doing Rock of Ages one day, making out with Russell Brand. Soon after that, I’m advocating with Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Cynthia Nixon for marriage equality. I’m officiating at a gay friend’s wedding. I’m not a homophobic person at all. But this is how the world now sees me.
Quick question. What is it like to be “awash in gay people?” Please advise.
5. After proving that he bathes in homosexuals or whatever, Baldwin gets into the whole calling a papparazzo a “f*****” incident. His defense hinges on the assertion that he didn’t actually use that word–an abhorrent gay slur, which he then uses three times in his piece, among others (see above).
But—I’m sorry, I can’t let go of this—do people really, really believe that, when I shouted at that guy, I called him a “faggot” on-camera? Do you honestly believe I would give someone like TMZ’s Harvey Levin, of all people, another club to beat me with?
What happened is, a TMZ videographer ambushed me as I was putting my family in a car, and I chased him down the block and said, “Cocksucking motherfucker” or whatever (when I have some volatile interaction with these people, I don’t pull out a pen and take notes on what I said). I knew that guy.
Isn’t calling someone a cocksucking motherfucker not really all that much better? Let’s go with Baldwin’s story for a second and say he didn’t actually use the slur in question. Isn’t insinuating that you have gay sex as an insult just as bad? That’s like saying “under no circumstances did I beat that man with a bat. I never used a bat. Harvey Levin would tear me apart if I used a baseball bat. I used a pole, instead.”
6. Of course, you’ll remember that the incident with the photographer wasn’t isolated. When a Daily Mail reporter wrote that Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria Thomas, was tweeting during James Gandolfini‘s funeral, Baldwin went on a Twitter rant and called the reporter a “toxic little queen.” Here’s his defense:
In my rage, however, I called him a “toxic little queen,” and, thus, Anderson Cooper, the self-appointed Jack Valenti of gay media culture, suggested I should be “vilified,” in his words. I didn’t feel bad about the incident. He lied about my wife. They say this is what comes with stardom—I don’t agree with you. A journalist isn’t supposed to write a lie about you. If he was in New York, I might have had the impulse to beat the shit out of the guy. At the time, I didn’t view “toxic little queen” as a homophobic statement. I didn’t realize how those words could give offense, and I’m sorry for that.
How did Baldwin learn that “toxic little queen” is homophobic (note: how did he not know in the first place? Who was tasked with explaining that to him?) but thought that “F-to-M tranny” was kosher?
7. Baldwin circles back to the “f*****” incident.
In the recent video, you see me completely riled up and going after this guy and you hear me saying “cocksucker” and then some bisyllabic word that sounds like “faggot”—but wasn’t. Still, it doesn’t matter. glaad comes after me and Anderson Cooper comes after me and Andrew Sullivan comes after me, all maintaining that I’m a hateful homophobe. All based on what Harvey Levin told them.
Remember, he didn’t say a slur. He just said “cocksucker,” and then the dumb gays came after him, like they do.
8. This has been really hard on him.
Every time people throw this mud on me, there are very serious consequences in my life.
Nobody thinks having crazed paparazzi follow you around, trying to take pictures of your child and waiting for you to fail is an easy lifestyle. It’s not fair and it’s not civilized, and there are serious concerns about what we allow paparazzi to do to people. But the mud that’s being thrown on Baldwin isn’t because of some unfair crime against him–it’s because he says gay slurs when he gets angry. It’s because he blames the media for forcing him to say those things. And Baldwin isn’t the only person who suffers when he conflates a Daily Mail reporter (we can all agree that that’s the scum of the earth) with a gay person. When that notion gets a famous spokesperson, there are people who suffer a lot more than Alec Baldwin.
As you can see, Baldwin didn’t do much to further his own case in this letter. In fact, this made things a whole lot worse. Baldwin also strikes me a bit as one of the free-pass guys–he’s a total liberal! He’s Jack Donaghy! I don’t think he was really vilified as much as he thinks he was, although this letter may have been the nail in the coffin that took away his free pass.
So there you have it. Alec Baldwin isn’t a homophobe (he’s a homophobe), and has to quit public life because of the media and all those cumbersome homosexuals. If you’ll all excuse me, I have a meeting with the Gay Department of Justice.
This wasn’t enough Baldwin for you? Click here for a round-up from our sister site of all the times he tried to play the victim in the very same post!
Photos: Getty Images