MSNBC Fires Alec Baldwin Over Anti-Gay Slurs

Eric Pfeiffer
Yahoo TV

Alec Baldwin has been fired by MSNBC.

MSNBC and Alec Baldwin have ended their short and tumultuous relationship, with the acclaimed actor being fired after just five episodes of his program, “Up Late With Alec Baldwin.”

"We are jointly confirming that UP LATE will not continue on MSNBC,” read a joint statement from MSNBC and Matthew Hiltzik, a representative for Baldwin.

The New York Post, which was first to report the news, quotes a source at MSNBC who told the paper, “The decision has been made. He’s gone. The [parent company] Comcast guys have decided. Word is spreading through the building.”

Baldwin came under fire in early November after a paparazzo posted video of the actor allegedly using homophobic slurs against the photographer.

On Nov. 16, MSNBC officially suspended Baldwin for two weeks. At the time, Baldwin said it was unclear if he would return to the network.

It was the most recent outburst in a series of offensive, seemingly anti-gay remarks from Baldwin. The Academy Award-nominated actor has a history of anti-gay slurs going as far back as 1992 and as recently as this past June.

However, some critics of MSNBC have noted that while the network was quick to punish Baldwin, fellow news host Martin Bashir has not been disciplined at all after offensive remarks he made about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Baldwin’s homophobic outbursts have become so prevalent that he was the target of a recent episode of “South Park.” Interestingly, that episode aired just weeks before Baldwin’s latest incident.

The New York Post claims Baldwin was difficult to work with on set at MSNBC. It quotes an unnamed source saying he recently demanded a private makeup room, even though the room was being used by a cancer patient with a sensitivity to regular makeup.

“I don’t give a [expletive] if she has cancer or not. I want that [expletive] makeup room,” Baldwin allegedly said.

Baldwin, who is currently filming a new Cameron Crowe movie in Hawaii, spoke with Gothamist on Tuesday, in his first interview since the cancellation of his show.

"You've got the fundamentalist wing of gay advocacy—Rich Ferraro and Andrew Sullivan—they're out there, they've got you. Rich Ferraro, this is probably one of his greatest triumphs. They killed my show," Baldwin lamented. "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."

The veteran thesp was also quick to weigh in on critics' comments about Martin Bashir, saying his own words were not nearly as bad as Bashir saying Palin should be defecated on. "Martin Bashir's on the air, and he made his comment on the air! I dispute half the comment I made..."

Whether or not his comments were as bad as Bashir's, Baldwin's show was also reportedly plagued by other problems.

Ratings have also been a struggle for the now-canceled show, with his most recent episode drawing 395,000 total viewers, the Post reported. Still, Baldwin’s show was never designed to be a ratings juggernaut. With its weekly schedule, late-night time slot and laid-back format, Baldwin had said that he hoped to offer a more thoughtful look at figures in the news.

Here is a clip from Baldwin's now-defunct show: