MSNBC decided Friday to take Alec Baldwin’s new show “Up Late” off the air for two weeks, after Baldwin was caught on tape engaging in vulgar language with reporters, according to a New York Times article. The incident occurred outside of Baldwin’s home in Manhattan on Thursday when a photographer tried to capture pictures of the family (Baldwin, his wife and his baby).
While there was some discrepancy over what was said, it has been said that it included a gay slur. Baldwin issued a statement, apologizing for his words, as seen here.
My prime interest in this story is not so much the confrontation itself, but the consequences. I applaud MSNBC for withdrawing Baldwin’s show – I think that was an extremely bold move that I agree with, but I’m almost shocked that it actually happened. Usually a company/organization will stand by the people that represent it, or if they don’t, they merely refuse to comment. I don’t know if I have ever seen a show being pulled because of a host’s inappropriate behavior in his/her personal life. I think it shows who is really in control here – MSNBC. It definitely sends out a warning message to Baldwin – another occurrence like this and he will most likely be gone.
This isn’t his first time acting aggressive with reporters either. The New York Times article cited an event last year, when Baldwin threatened to beat up a male reporter and called him a “toxic little queen.” Having a successful career in the broadcast industry is difficult to do when one’s reputation is poor. If Baldwin was to be let go, I can’t think any other news outlets would want to pick him up.
*Update: A more recent outburst from Baldwin came on Friday, Nov. 15 when he verbally assaulted Fox reporter Linda Schmidt, because Baldwin’s wife told him that Schmidt nearly knocked her teeth out with a mic, according to a Fox article. The video in this article shows the scene play out, and that the mic never came that close to his wife’s face. After numerous outbursts within such a short time period, and witnessing the obvious hostility he has towards strangers, it is certainly a cause for concern. I will be sure to keep my eyes and ears open for more…