The last time Deadline TV columnist Lisa de Moraes and actor Alec Baldwin crossed paths, it got a little testy. In her final column for the Washington Post, she questioned why PETA champ Baldwin was hosting a National Geographic series that began with an episode about a sports hunter who went polar bear hunting in Canada. The actor spoke to her for the piece, but then after publication went on a mini-Twitter rant about the poor quality of TV beat writers.
De Moraes was in the audience Thursday at the TCA Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel as Baldwin and his documentary director James Toback took the stage. At one point, a colleague brought up that very Twitter rant:
One TV critic asked Baldwin to advise them how they could do their jobs better, Baldwin having recently tweeted that the worst writers end up covering TV…
He noticed that when he reads the New York papers’ coverage of TV, “I was always very 50-50.” That’s because, he explained, they were “always ascribing things to people that weren’t really there.”
The TV industry, he explained, is a showrunner’s game and actors don’t have that much power. “But they are often handed more of a piece of the bill when the thing gets skewered than they deserve. I found that good television critics are ones who really know what’s going on in the process, and sometimes, reading the writing of certain people, I don’t think they understand the process that well.”
Too bad de Moraes didn’t ask Baldwin a follow-up. The actor and Toback were at the TCA to promote their upcoming HBO documentary Seduced and Abandoned, about the Cannes Film Festival.[Photo: Joe Seer/Shutterstock.com]
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Deadline Snags Washington Post TV Critic Lisa de Moraes