MSNBC has suspended Alec Baldwin’s talk show for two weeks after the actor used abusive and homophobic language toward a news photographer, Politico reports.
The photographer approached Baldwin, who was with his wife and child, outside his Manhattan apartment Thursday morning, and Baldwin responded by calling him a “cocksucking little fag,” among other things. Video of the encounter was posted by TMZ.
Baldwin apologized for his conduct in a statement posted on the MSNBC website Friday. “What I said and did this week, as I was trying to protect my family, was offensive and unacceptable,” the statement reads in part. “Behavior like this undermines hard-fought rights that I vigorously support. I understand ‘Up Late’ will be taken off the schedule for tonight and next week.”
Baldwin is well known for his liberal politics, including support for LGBT rights, but he also has a history of using antigay slurs when angry. Last summer, for instance, he called a British reporter a “toxic little queen,” among other things, and he also used “queen” in reference to a New York Daily News editor. Regarding the latest incident, he initially claimed he called the photographer “fathead” instead of “fag” and asserted he did not know that “cocksucking” had an antigay connotation. He received condemnation from several quarters, including GLAAD, CNN journalist Anderson Cooper, and gay columnist Andrew Sullivan.