The Daily Mail has removed the story it posted stating that Alec Baldwin’s wife Hilaria was tweeting during James Gandolfini’s funeral on Thursday. After further investigation, it turns out that the reporter, George Stark, who’s in Los Angeles, didn’t take the time difference between the East and West Coast into account. The tweets actually went up after the funeral.
The Daily Mail has apologized “for any distress caused,” but the Kraken was already released and Baldwin had some apologizing of his own to do.
The star spoke with New York-centric website Gothamist on Friday to explain his latest Twitter rant, this one directed at a Daily Mail reporter who wrote a story saying Baldwin’s wife Hilaria was tweeting during James Gandolfini’s funeral on Thursday. In response to the story, Baldwin fired off a number of tweets that included expletives and physical threats against the reporter. There was also language that many people labeled homophobic. Reporter Andrew Sullivan proposes that what Baldwin said may have been a crime.
“Number one, I’m never going to apologize for defending my wife, ever,” Baldwin told the website. “Number two, the idea of me calling this guy a ‘queen’ and that being something that people thought is homophobic…a queen to me has a different meaning… I know women that act queeny, I know men that are straight that act queeny, and I know gay men that act queeny. It doesn’t have to be a definite sexual connotation, or a homophobic connotation.”
Baldwin spent a good chunk of the conversation talking about how terrible Twitter is, which isn’t true and doesn’t change the fact that Alec Baldwin needs to get a grip. He vows that this time, he’s quit tweeting for good. That’s probably a good idea.
“Twitter began for me as a way to bypass the mainstream media and talk directly to my audience and say, ‘hey here’s a show I’m doing, here’s something I’m doing…’ Rosie O’Donnell is on my podcast this week, and she said that she’s getting off of Twitter, and I said ‘God, I was thinking the same thing.’ I said ‘you just end up absorbing so much hatred’,” he said.
To further explain and apologize, Baldwin issued a statement to GLAAD that reads, in part, “My ill-advised attack on George Stark of the Daily Mail had absolutely nothing to do with issues of anyone’s sexual orientation. My anger was directed at Mr. Stark for blatantly lying and disseminating libelous information about my wife and her conduct at our friend’s funeral service. As someone who fights against homophobia, I apologize.”
He also pointed out his history of support for same-sex marriage and equality organizations.
GLAAD’s VP of comms Rich Ferraro issued a statement of his own, accepting the apology, but stopping short of excusing the language used in the tweets.
Issuing a formal apology through GLAAD was the right thing to do. Even if he believed what he was saying wasn’t a slur, to most of the population, it sounded that way. Others besides Sullivan — Anderson Cooper, for instance — say that Baldwin is getting “a pass.” Calling for violence against anyone is irresponsible. Clarifying his intention and then apologizing through the organization was appropriate. Now let’s everyone steer clear of this talk.
The Daily Mail, while apologizing, deflects blame to Twitter and the publicist’s failure to account for the time discrepancy. Twitter should correct the issue, but there was a denial from their publicist and the whole thing is so petty — who’s tweeting where and when as someone is being laid to rest. It shouldn’t have escalated to this point, especially not as someone’s funeral is involved. Here’s a case where the Mail could’ve taken the high road and simply apologized and tossed this in the rubbish bin of bad stories.