Alec Baldwin came under fire from LGBT activists the other week when he allegedly hurled anti-gay slurs at the paparazzi in New York City. Initially, MSNBC decided to suspend his show, “Up Late,” for two weeks. But now MSNBC has revealed that they’ve decided to go even further and cancel the show.
The New York Post, the same publication who employs the photographer who received the anti-gay slur, reported the cancellation yesterday and posted a statement from Baldwin’s spokesman, Matthew Hiltzik, and a rep for the cable channel .
“We are jointly confirming that ‘Up Late’ will not continue on MSNBC.” The MSNBC spokeswoman added, “This is a mutual parting and we wish Alec all the best.”
Some have questioned whether Baldwin decided to leave of his own volition or if he was fired, but MSNBC claimed that “fired” wasn’t the proper word to use in the situation.
“The show is not coming back. He had questions on whether he wanted to continue,” the rep said. “Every episode of ‘Up Late’ has beaten CNN and the show has increased MSNBC’s audience in the time slot. Alec has been dedicated to developing “Up Late” and spent hours each week in production. He’s got great ideas and has a collaborative relationship with the show staff.”
However, the Post claims that Baldwin’s show suffered from bad ratings since its inception, with the last show pulling in just 395,000 viewers.
But Baldwin doesn’t think his show got canned because of bad ratings. He told The Gothamist that it got canceled because of gay men with influence.
“‘f—– is not the word that came out of my mouth. That I know. But you’ve got the fundamentalist wing of gay advocacy—Rich Ferraro and Andrew Sullivan—they’re out there, they’ve got you. Rich Ferraro, this is probably one of his greatest triumphs. They killed my show. And I have to take some responsibility for that myself,” Baldwin said.
Perhaps Ferraro and Sullivan did add a bit of influence to MSNBC’s decision to can Baldwin’s show, but it’s more likely that the show was doomed because of ratings and that the cable channel used this incident, which is only the latest in a string of bad publicity moments for Baldwin, as an excuse to cancel his show.
But Baldwin isn’t the only one who’s paid a hefty price for using anit-gay language. Check out some other offenders below. – nicholas robinson