“Up Late with Alec Baldwin,” the late-night talk show that debuted just last month, has been canceled by MSNBC. According to Page Six, the decision comes amid controversy over the actor’s alleged use of a gay slur against a paparazzo in New York City.
"We are jointly confirming that 'Up Late' will not continue on MSNBC," a Baldwin rep told The Hollywood Reporter. "This is a mutual parting and we wish Alec all the best,” MSNBC said in a statement.
In addition to the photographer altercation, the New York Post's Page Six said Baldwin was difficult to deal with on set, reportedly demanding a separate makeup room that was being used by a woman with cancer. “When Baldwin was told he couldn’t have his way, he allegedly bellowed at the top of his lungs, ‘I don’t give a f ** k if she has cancer or not, I want that f ** king makeup room,’” the tabloid reported.
A couple of weeks ago, Baldwin angrily confronted a photographer outside his Manhattan apartment, yelling and allegedly calling him a “c**ksucking f*g.” Baldwin denied he ever uttered the gay slur, instead insisting he used the word “fathead.” Video of the incident circulated online.
Gothamist reached out to Baldwin for comment on the “fathead” controversy, as well as the cancellation of his show on MSNBC. "Showing a video in which I call someone a 'c**ksucking something'... you can't really tell what I'm saying, and we live in a world in which the phrase 'TMZ's enhanced audio' exists. 'TMZ's enhanced audio.' And then with The Post... there's nothing you can do when you get thrown in this washing machine, nothing,” he said. "All you end up doing is just defending yourself all day long.
"Martin Bashir's on the air, and he made his comment on the air!” Baldwin continued. As the AP reports, Bashir criticized Sarah Palin for comparing the federal deficit to slavery by referring to the diaries of a plantation overseer named Thomas Thistlewood, who punished his slaves by having someone defecate in their mouth or urinate on their face. Bashir suggested the former Alaska governor should be punished in a similar fashion.
“I dispute half the comment I made... if I called him 'c**ksucking maggot' or a 'c**ksucking motherf**ker'... 'f****t' 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 [VP of communications at GLAAD] and [blogger] 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."
As for the Post story which ran Tuesday, Baldwin suspects it was planted by somebody he worked with on his show. "People who I worked with that I cared about—these people were all very supportive of the show,” he said. “Now there was somebody on the staff who I did not want to work with. There was somebody on the staff who I thought wasn't a good fit for me. And I wouldn't rule out if that person went to the Post and gave them that story. These stories with the Post, the way they work, they have to have some kernel of truth.”