By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com November 19 2013 3:24 PM ET
Several gay pundits on CNN Monday night lambasted Alec Baldwin's alleged use of a homophobic slur in his interaction with a photographer in Manhattan last week, arguing that the actor is revealing his deep-seated homophobia, despite his political support for LGBT causes.
When a photographer approached Baldwin and his family near their Manhattan home Thursday, Baldwin reportedly called the news photographer a "cocksucking little faggot." Although Baldwin denies he used the antigay slur and pointed to his long-standing support of marriage equality, MSNBC suspended the actor's talk show, Up Late, for two weeks in response to the incident.
Anderson Cooper, himself an out gay news anchor, isn't buying Baldwin's excuses.
In a panel discussion on CNN Monday night, Cooper contended that even if Baldwin didn't use the epithet toward the photographer, calling another man a "cocksucker" has an inherently antigay message, and feigning ignorance about that is insulting to his fans' intelligence.
"Even if that is the case, the first word he used, to use it against another guy, is clearly an antigay statement," Cooper said in a back-and-forth with fellow out gay pundit Andrew Sullivan. "Anybody can say anything they want," Cooper continued. "If he wants to yell 'c-sucking fag' to people on the street, if he wants to call people 'toxic little queen,' but then don't lie about it afterward and claim you didn't know this was an antigay slur. … If you've attained that great age and you don't know that calling a guy a toxic little queen is an antigay reference or calling someone a c-sucking fag, whether or not you say fag or not, but c-sucking to another guy, that that's an antigay statement, that is just a lie. And for him to say, 'Oh, I was informed of this afterward,' I mean, come on!"
"It's the most homophobic thing you can do," Sullivan interjected. "To actually yell at another human being, to try and put them down in public, as a fag."
"If Alec Baldwin had yelled the n word to that photographer or yelled an anti-Jewish slur against that photographer, it would be over," Cooper speculated. "But the f word is a word kids are called in school every single day. Teachers often do nothing about it. The Rutgers coach was calling his team that for years, and no one did anything about it."
"And it's important to note that all this is laced with the threat of violence," Sullivan pointed out.
Watch the panel discussion below.