Alec Baldwin is exiting public life, via a 5,267-word piece in Vulture explaining his side of all the controversy that has swirled around him, particularly since November, when he was labeled a homophobe. (It should be noted that, while he insists he is no homophobe and denies using the worst of the gay slurs he's been accused of hurling, in his Vulture piece he uses the word ... "tranny.") Some of the topics he covers, in chronological order:
- The racist slur he was accused of using against a New York Post photographer last February: He calls this "the single most painful episode" of mud-slinging he's experienced, and notes that the allegation was eventually proved "totally false."
- His feud with Shia LaBeouf while working on a Broadway play, which ended with LaBeouf quitting: Baldwin says LaBeouf was entitled and obnoxious, and got fired when Baldwin threatened to walk. He says the play closed early because director Dan Sullivan didn't like the play—or Baldwin.
- The first anti-gay controversy: In June, Baldwin called a reporter a "toxic little queen" for claiming Baldwin's wife was tweeting during James Gandolfini's funeral. He says that at the time, he didn't think of it "as a homophobic statement. I didn’t realize how those words could give offense, and I’m sorry for that." But he's not sorry for ranting at the reporter—in fact, he spends much of the piece detailing his hatred for the media.
- The second anti-gay controversy: He says he never used the f-word against a TMZ photographer, though he admits calling him a "c---sucking motherf---er" or something, and offers no apology for that. "Do people really, really believe that, when I shouted at that guy, I called him a 'f-----' on-camera? Do you honestly believe I would give someone like TMZ’s Harvey Levin, of all people, another club to beat me with?" It's his word against Levin's, since the tape itself isn't entirely comprehensible.
- The ensuing cancellation of his MSNBC show: He says he "never wanted to be on MSNBC," he wanted a talk show on NBC, and he was never a good fit with the head of MSNBC or the producer assigned to his show. He thinks Rachel Maddow was "the prime mover in my firing," and he calls her "a phony who doesn’t have the same passion for the truth off-camera that she seems to have on the air."
The rest of the piece is devoted to his hatred of the media and his sadness over the fact that celebrities are no longer left alone in New York. His plan? Perhaps move to a more private residence in Los Angeles, never talk about his personal life in another American publication, and continue to act while no longer making appearances on shows like Saturday Night Live
or Letterman. Click for his full piece