Alec Baldwin has written a long goodbye to public life and New York City in a piece he penned for The New Yorker.
After allegedly calling a paparazzo a “cocksucking faggot,” which he first apologized for, then denied saying, Baldwin was suspended and subsequently fired from his MSNBC show. He’s blamed everyone from Anderson Cooper to TMZ’s Harvey Levin for the controversy and is now taking on celebrity culture as a whole as he says he wants to get back to being an actor without the showbiz lifestyle.
On meeting a transgender man at an LGBT organization in Hawaii following the gay-slur conspiracy he claims to be a victim of: One young man, an F-to-M tranny, said, “Are you here to get dry-cleaned, like Brett Ratner?” Meaning I could do some mea culpa, write them a six-figure check, go to a dinner, sob at the table, give a heartfelt speech, beg for forgiveness. I thought to myself: Beg for forgiveness for something I didn’t do?
I said, “No. I don’t want to get dry-cleaned. I don’t want to be decontaminated by you, Karen Silkwood–wise, scrubbed down. I want to learn about what is hurtful speech in your community. I want to participate in some programs about that. Or underwrite one. And then, like you, I just want to be left alone.”
On how it sounded like faggot but wasn’t: 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.
Immediately prior to this, I’d go see Phil (the head of MSNBC) and I’d say, “What are the ratings?” If I had 15 meetings with Phil Griffin, five of them were after the show, with me saying, “What do you make of these ratings?” He’d say, “Don’t worry. It takes time.” (We beat Cooper two of three Fridays at 10.) Although he appeared to have some buyer’s remorse, he told me to hang in there. After the TMZ event, he said, “Don’t worry. I have to suspend you. But this will blow over.” I have all the emails to prove it. And then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, MSNBC said, “You’re fired.”