Alec Baldwin is done. He’s had all he can stand and he can’t stand no more. Life in the public eye has become so toxic for the former “30 Rock” star that on Sunday he penned a lengthy essay for New York magazine titled, “Good-bye, Public life,” in which he officially bowed out of the celebrity hamster wheel.
But, Baldwin being Baldwin, he didn’t exit stage right before taking a few people out. “I’ve read where a number of people have felt that 2013 was a s—-y year,” he wrote. “For me, it was actually a great year, because my wife and I had a baby. But, yeah, everything else was pretty awful. And I find myself bitter, defensive, and more misanthropic than I care to admit. And I’m trying to understand what happened, how an altercation on the street, in which I was accused–wrongly–of using a gay slur, could have cascaded like this. There’s been a shift in my life. And it’s caused me to step back and say, This is happening for a reason.
After living what he deemed a “relatively charmed life,” Baldwin said everything changed last November when he said he was labeled a homophobe after allegedly using an anti-gay slur against a paparazzi photographer. (Baldwin has denied using the slur.)
Before he closed the book on a 35-year career, Baldwin took some parting shots at his rather lengthy enemies list. Who made the roster?
The “I am not famous anymore” actor got dinged again by Baldwin, a year after LaBeouf unexpectedly dropped out of the Baldwin-led Broadway play “Orphans.”
“I’d heard from other people that he was potentially very difficult to work with, but I always ignore that because people say the same thing about me,” he said of the “Transformer” star. “When he showed up, he seemed like a lot of young actors today — scattered, as he was coming from making six movies in a row or whatever.” There was immediate friction, which Baldwin attributed to the way Shia carries himself with a “jailhouse mentality wherever he goes.”
Long story short, Baldwin said Shia learned his lines in advance (Baldwin does not do this) and he didn’t care for being called out in rehearsal by the younger star for not immediately memorizing the entire play. With each man digging in his heels, Baldwin offered to quit, but instead LaBeouf was given the boot.
“I think he was shocked. He had that card, that card you get when you make films that make a lot of money that gives you a certain kind of entitlement,” Baldwin said. “I think he was surprised that it didn’t work in the theater.”
After praising the play’s director for handling the LaBeouf incident, Baldwin then threw the “older, more enervated” Sullivan under the bus by saying that the director, “played both sides,” “coddled” Shia in emails and never really liked Baldwin to begin with.
Look, Baldwin, “never wanted to be on MSNBC,” which he said he watched only sporadically before joining. “Once I had signed a contract with them, I wanted to see more of what they were about. It turned out to be the same s— all day long.”
Specifically, he hit at Joe Scarborough of “Morning Joe,” who Baldwin called “boring … neither eloquent nor funny” and his co-host Mika Brezinski, who he compared to the unofficial fifth Marx Brother, female comic Margaret Dumont.
And he referred to Rachel Maddow as, “the ultimate wonk/dweeb who got a show, polished it, made it her own,” and who, while talented, is not funny. He blamed her for getting him fired from MSNBC and said that while she is, “quite good at what she does,” he also thinks she’s, “a phony who doesn’t have the same passion for the truth off-camera that she seems to have on the air.”
He called the CNN host the “Jack Valenti of gay media culture” (Valenti was the powerful longtime president of the Motion Picture Association of America), who he said “lied” about Baldwin’s wife tweeting from friend James Gandolfini’s funeral.
The Gay Department of Justice
Baldwin’s lengthy essay opens with a fictional phone call with “Nick” from the Honolulu, Hawaii, division of this made-up LGBT group. When asked to pick the most homophobic star in Hollywood, Nick was quick to name Baldwin.
In the made-up meeting, Baldwin is asked by a “F-to-M tranny” if he was in Hawaii to, “get dry-cleaned, like Brett Ratner?” The reference was to the multiple apologies the director made after being accused of homophobia .
The Paparazzi, NBC News and Huffington Post
The actor lumped the news outlets in with predatory tabloid photographers who, “bump into me or block the entrance to my apartment, frustrating my neighbors (some of whom may regret that I live in their building).”
He loved his six and a half years on “30 Rock,” and was glad it wasn’t a hit show that he ended up hating. “As my agent used to say, you don’t want to be walking down an alleyway with a flashlight in your hand for ten years, doing some police procedural.”
TMZ Boss Harvey Levin
“He’s this kind of cretinous barnacle on the press,” Baldwin said of his frequent nemesis.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
“Bill de Blasio, who apparently gets his news from TMZ, too, distanced himself from me,” he claimed in the wake of the November incident with the photographer.