MSNBC Suspends Alec Baldwin’s Show For Two Weeks

Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Actor suspended after confronting TV reporter

Alec Baldwin’s “Up Late” program will not air tonight or next Friday on MSNBC in the wake of comments the actor made while dealing with reporters seeking to question him about a salacious court case in which he is involved.

“I did not intend to hurt or offend anyone with my choice of words, but clearly I have – and for that I am deeply sorry,” Baldwin said in a statement posted on MSNBC’s website. “Words are important. I understand that, and will choose mine with great care going forward. What I said and did this week, as I was trying to protect my family, was offensive and unacceptable. 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. I want to apologize to my loyal fans and to my colleagues at MSNBC – both for my actions and for distracting from their good work. Again, please accept my apology.”

Baldwin, who testified this week at a trial of a woman accused of stalking him, was asked about the case by a reporter from WNYW, a Fox-operated TV station in New York. Baldwin brushed by the reporter, but then turned and confronted him, saying, “If you’re still here when my wife and kid come out, you’re going to have a big problem, you know that?”

He then insulted the reporter, saying, “You are as dumb as you look. You are with Fox, right?”

On Thursday, Baldwin warded off photographers he felt were getting too close to his family. At one point during the confrontation, he was heard using an anti-gay slur.  Baldwin later used Twitter to call attention to the offensiveness of such language. 

The suspension is not the first time MSNBC has taken one of its personalities off the air. In 2010, MSNBC suspended Keith Olbermann, then its best-known anchor, after discovering he had made political donations to three Democratic congressional candidates – an act that was said to be in violation of NBC News ethics policies. In the end, the suspension lasted just a handful of days.

Baldwin’s program typically features guests in one-on-one conversation with the actor, who has developed a reputation with NBCUniversal during his tenure on “30 Rock,” which aired on the NBC broadcast network, and as a host multiple times on “Saturday Night Live.”  The show’s premiere featured an hour-long interview with Bill de Blasio, just days before he was elected Mayor of New York City.

While announcement of the program on MSNBC raised some eyebrows – Baldwin is not a journalist and his support for liberal causes is well-known – its ratings have not been stellar. The most recent episode, broadcast November 8, reached 395,000 viewers overall, according to Nielsen data. Among viewers between the ages of 25 and 54, the demographic preferred by advertisers in news programming, 101,000 tuned in. In contrast, the premiere of “Up Late” attracted 654,000 viewers overall and 172,000 between the ages of 25 to 54.

Prior to launching “Up Late,” MSNBC was running documentary-style programming under the rubric “MSNBC Investigates.”

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 357

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Tony says:

    This language policing has to stop. Who cares what word some guy uses to insult a reporter? He was obviously not insulting the guy’s actual sexuality – it is often used as a generic term. Instead of groups hanging on to their pet peeve words with no attention to the actual context in which they were used, why aren’t they focusing on cases where people are truly hateful towards them as a group? Words don’t matter. Context and intent matters.

  2. Dickie says:

    Actually I was unaware that Baldwin had a late night show.It seems to me he would be the perfect replacement for Leno.

  3. Dickie says:

    NBC has no right to get involved.

  4. Prentis Boatner says:

    alec baldwin the poster child for the left….not a bad person but this is how they think. i prefer to think differently.

  5. Earl P. Holt III says:

    This may prove to be a big disappointment to the 27 viewers he had…

  6. Terry Hagedorn says:

    Paula Deen lost her job and sponsors for something equally offensive as smart Alec’s slurs. Furthermore, smart Alec is a serial bullier. When is someone going to sue him for causing PTSD?

  7. Clearhead says:

    Good thinking — GOOD RIDDANCE !!!

  8. JJR526 says:

    MSNBC? no one would have noticed whether the show was on or not.

  9. anne says:

    here’s going to be a job opening in Toronto that alec could go for

  10. caligula says:

    suspended for 2 weeks for vulgar comments, racist rants and homophobic slurs? any right-leaning host would be fired, no questions asked and never work in the industry again. but we know what’s going on with the dimwit double standard.

  11. alan says:

    Gee Whiz, folks, suspend Baldwin, but give Martin Bashir a raise for his disgusting attack on S. Palin? Imagine if someone at Fox had said those things about H. Clinton or S. Rice!

  12. Buck Bagaw says:

    I believe his show should be aired and advertized.

  13. Son of Sam says:

    Just because you have freedom of speech it does not mean you have freedom from consequences. If you say something that offends someone enough you might find yourself out of a job for 2 weeks. Or before they made it illegal someone might give you the opportunity to defend your word in a duel, where you can have all the freedom of speech you want, only you might have to pay for it with your life.

  14. Ed says:

    The foul mouth network suspends Bladwin for his foul mouth?

  15. Mike0oSS says:

    Alec could do a lot better than hosting a lame show no one watches on MSLSD.

  16. dnhook says:

    Alec has a show? Who knew?

  17. DB says:

    These people jump through hoops to be famous so they can make the big bucks and then whine when people want to get their picture. Idiots.

  18. Jedediah Throckmorton says:

    Suspended for two weeks. That shouldn’t impact number of viewers that much.

  19. william says:

    welcome to the left of America. Actually MSNBC should keep him at least he says what he truly thinks and isn;t just a talking head like the rest of them.

  20. sjumper says:

    Please Alec go to anger management

  21. Who me? Say what?
    But…but….but NOTHING ALEC!
    You shall be held to the same standard as everybody else.
    Get it?

  22. Joe Zamecki says:

    Sure, he has freedom of speech. And his employer has the freedom to protect their business. No one has a guarantee of a job. People like Baldwin show why.

  23. Mike says:

    You have FREEDOM of speech in this country. If you offend someone that is their problem not yours. Everyone has their right to their own opinion, if someone gets offended, how cares.

  24. Bob Dee says:

    MSNBC will just let the erudite and alway pleasent Al “The Rev” Sharpton fill in for Alex while he checks “what’s in his wallet”. LOL!!!

  25. Vince says:

    Baldwin knows how to ACT like a nice person. That’s why he’s an actor. He just doesn’t know how to BE a nice person. So, when the cameras are off, the monster comes out. He’s certainly not unique in this respect. But because of his notoriety he stands out as an example to the world. It sure does take a lot for this guy to feel embarrassed. Typical narcissistic behavior.

  26. Sparky2 says:

    Baldwin is an MSNBC favorite because he is as anti-conservative as anyone can be…he literally hates republicans. But when he insulted gays he stepped over the line because the media is abnormally highly staffed with gays and lesbians. Which is also why the spin out of the NY media often has christian bashing who generally are against gay marriage.

  27. Baldwin also attacked a bystander with a cellphone camera. He gets whatever he deserves.

  28. Jack Mehoff says:

    I saw the video. Baldwin was defending his family, telling the reporters to stay away from them. This has been Completely taken out of context. MSNBC can keep their cra p shows. I’ll be looking for Alec Baldwin at the movies.

    • Pat McCrouch says:

      I suppose someone has to watch that tripe. He is a hateful p.o.s. with a deep love of speaking before thinking. Serves him right.

      • Vince says:

        I guess you missed the part where he went after a female reporter who dared to put a microphone in front of his wife’s face to ask her a question. You that protecting your family? Yeah, sure.

  29. Phil Pott says:

    It’s not fair. I don’t get paid millions for being an a-hole! Mr. Obama, please fix this inequity immediately!

  30. Gosh I hate auto correct….prior message should read good riddance to bad rubbish

  31. Good ridings to bad rubbish

  32. lee dywlf says:

    OMMMM, he hurt the [censored] feelings.

  33. Barry Levy says:

    If nobody told me this would never have known, and didn’t care.

    Vile racist, hater that only exists because libs don’t care to censor/complain about those that are libs and spew hate and venom.

  34. Rick says:

    Baldwin may be a fine actor, but sucks as a human being. Perhaps he equates notoriety with fame. I stopped spending money on his films and endorsed products quite some time ago.

  35. Joeusa says:

    ‘Up late’? ‘MSNBC’?
    Never heard of them.

  36. Joe Biden says:

    He’s trailer trash in a $1000 suit.

  37. Hey Alec …”what’s in you wallet?”

    …I’m betting a little less these days because of you oral diarrhea. Get over yourself!

  38. MaryB says:

    This guy is a nut job and a lousy “actor”. I can’t stand to watch him on tv and will immediately change the channel. Charlie Sheen has more personality than this whacko has and I don’t watch him either. I am sick of people who think they are the Elitely Entitled. Very boring.

  39. Alex says:

    Alec look up the word Diplomacy and perhaps learn how to become diplomatic before you go into politics

    diplomacy is the employment of tact to gain strategic advantage or to find mutually acceptable solutions to a common challenge, one set of tools being the phrasing of statements in a non-confrontational, or polite manner.

  40. Michael says:


    You’re a rude thoughtless little pig!

  41. Michael van der BIL says:

    Maybe some therapy is in order!!

  42. walt says:

    Can’t see why NBC is punishing Baldwin since he certainly meets their standards of low quality programming, paritisan shills for personalities, agenda driven newcasting and a consistantly pathetic parade of personalities.

  43. Chris Parker says:

    Variety reports, “At one point during the confrontation, he was heard using an anti-gay slur. Baldwin later used Twitter to call attention to the offensiveness of such language.”

    And who was is it that heard Baldwin screaming that gay slur which rhymes with “maggot”? Oh that’s right, the world world, because the video went viral!

    But I am glad Baldwin is “calling attention” to his own bigotry on Twitter in order to give EVERYONE ELSE a learning moment about how adults shouldn’t act.

  44. Let the low class uneducated pun go for good!

  45. tonycoza says:

    you know things are bad when alec baldwin is held responsible when he says something offensive to some “protected group”. Ironically, if we stopped treating those of us who believe that they deserve special laws, special treatment, certain labels, just because some aspect of their make up is different from ours. He should have just stuck to useing hateful language towards converatives, or republicans or republican women, or conservative blacks or hispanics.

  46. Mike Young says:

    Celebrities can say anything they want as long as they apologise. Then they come back bigger than ever. Strange world.

  47. Gwok says:


  48. Gwok says:

    Why is he even still in the limelight? I don’t understand how anyone can support this train wreck, with his history of abusive language and actions, not to mention, he’s just talentless. Never liked this Baldwin…actually, don’t care for any of them. Boorish brood the whole lot of them, but this one…wins the cake. Idiot.

  49. Are you as dumb as you look? You sir have a History of this type of explosive bursts. I certainly will NOT
    give you or your late night program any of my time to watch. I personally think you should take some professional help to control your rantings.

More TV News from Variety