30 Rock star and notoriously smooth-voiced Alec Baldwin didn’t attend the Emmys this year, nor did his sketch meant to open the show ever hit the airwaves. And, in typical celebrity fashion, he tweeted about the cause: a falling out he had with Emmy broadcaster Fox and its parent company News Corp.
Baldwin had recorded a sketch that was supposed to open the Emmys on Sunday night. He played the part of a TV exec, but – at least in his opinion – Fox and parent company News Corp. decided to nix the best joke of the bit.
The joke was a reference to the phone hacking scandal that shook News Corp.’s News of the World tabloid and reverberated throughout Twitter and the rest of the media world a few months ago.
According to the Washington Post, the joke would have seen Baldwin on the phone pause, and ask “Is that you, Rupert?” in reference to New Corp. boss Rupert Murdoch’s suspected condoning of phone hacking by his tabloid.
However, apparently News Corp. thought that this joke was too offensive, given how serious the company was about the whole hacking issue, so they cut it.
When he got word that New Corp. might cut his bit, Baldwin tweeted:
“I did a short Emmy pretape a few days ago. Now they tell me NewsCorp may cut the funniest line. #NewsCorphumorlessaswellascorrupt”
And by Sunday night, when he received confirmation about the joke’s demise, he continued:
“Fox did kill my NewsCorp hacking joke. Which sucks bc I think it would have made them look better. A little.”
A few hours later, he returned to Twitter to tweet what appeared to be a conciliatory gesture towards News Corp.:
“I understand NewsCorp killing that joke.”
Only to follow up a minute later with the following:
“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.”
It’s not the worst Twitter celebrity meltdown we’ve seen, but it’s clear that Baldwin isn’t afraid to speak his mind about what he believes in.
What do you think? Did he step over a line with his tweets? Or is he right to criticise the censorship of that sketch on a public forum? Let us know in the comments below.