The ongoing war between Alec Baldwin and cameras has garnered another casualty, as MSNBC has canceled the actor’s low-rated talk show barely a month after it premiered. And, as with so many things involving cameras, it’s unclear whom you can trust: Sources tell Variety that the decision was “mutually” agreed upon, an outcome that Baldwin predicted in a recent Huffington Post editorial—and shrugged off as a fate that befalls “the vast majority of start-up TV programming.” However, within that same article, Baldwin acknowledged the difference between his own Up Late With… and most other freshmen TV series—specifically, the accusation that its host had once again directed anti-gay slurs at a member of the tabloid press.
Regarding that outburst, Baldwin has repeatedly contended he “never used the word ‘faggot’ in the tape recording being offered as evidence against me”—a tape recording that remains posted on TMZ, for your own perusal. Rather, Baldwin has insisted “acoustic analysis proves” he actually said “cocksucking fathead,” presumably in reference to the worst-selling wall decal of all time. (So, an insult, but only a half-homophobic one.) Nevertheless, the story persisted, leading first to Baldwin’s suspension and then to today’s cancellation.
Naturally, Page Six suggests there may have been other factors besides the paparazzi dust-up, most of these regarding Baldwin’s “diva-like behavior toward co-workers”—including “demanding a humidifier because he claimed the air at 30 Rock was too dry,” and even insisting on taking “a separate makeup room being used by a woman with cancer who is sensitive to hairspray.” According to Page Six, Baldwin allegedly “bellowed at the top of his lungs, ‘I don’t give a fuck if she has cancer or not, I want that fucking makeup room.’” (Though it’s possible acoustic analysis will prove he actually said, “I don’t give a fuck if she has cancer or not, I want her to live a long and fruitful life.”) Whatever the true story, it likely won’t be told until Alec Baldwin inevitably tweets about it, then deletes those tweets.