Alec Baldwin squashed his videotaped appearance on last night's Emmy Awards after Fox axed his joke about the phone hacking scandal at newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., Fox's parent company. Baldwin demanded his entire videotaped bit, which was to air at the beginning of the show, be removed once the joke was censored. (The segment was re-filmed with Leonard Nimoy ... and without the joke.) A Fox spokesman said the bit was cut because the network takes the phone hacking scandal "seriously," and didn't want to appear to be joking about it, reports the Guardian.
In the joke, Baldwin pretends to be talking on a telephone, then calls out Rupert Murdoch's name, saying: "I can hear you listening," sources tell the New York Daily News. Baldwin, who was nominee for Outstanding Lead Actor in a comedy series for 30 Rock, tweeted: "If I were enmeshed in a scandal where I hacked phones of families of innocent crime victims purely for profit, I'd want that to go away, too." He added that allowing the joke "would have made them look better. A little." He later added: “Are some companies #toobigtojail?” (Read more News Corp stories.)