Actor Alec Baldwin has pulled out of tonight's Emmy broadcast after a joke concerning News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch was pulled from a segment he had recorded to open the awards show, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Fox, the network hosting the Emmy awards, told EW that the decision was made by executives at the News Corp. subsidiary, and not at News Corp. alone. Furthermore, the network said the joke was cut not because it involved Murdoch, but because the executives thought it would be inappropriate to make jokes about the serious allegations concerning the phone-hacking scandal.
The decision was obviously not immediate. On Thursday, Baldwin tweeted, I did a short Emmy pretape a few days ago. Now they tell me NewsCorp may cut the funniest line.
After the decision was made, Baldwin asked for his pre-taped piece to be entirely removed from the segment. The piece was reshot using Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy.
A person close to Baldwin told Deadline that it wasn't the fact that the joke was removed that made the actor want to pull out entirely. Rather, it was the fact that Baldwin believed the skit would not gel well without the joke intact.
Yet, Baldwin's Twitter feed shows that he might harbor some resentment against Murdoch.
If I were enmeshed in a scandal where I hacked phones of families of innocent crime victims purely 4 profit, I'd want that 2 go away 2, Baldwin Tweeted several hours ago.