Alec Baldwin is an American actor who has been in the public eye for decades. He’s won acclaim and awards for his acting, especially his portrayal of Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock.
However, in recent years, Baldwin has become a controversial figure, facing criticism and backlash for his behavior and actions both on and off screen.
Here’s an in-depth look at some of the reasons why Alec Baldwin has alienated some people and is disliked by a segment of the population.
His Public Feuds and Altercations
One of the biggest reasons Alec Baldwin has garnered detractors is his tendency to get into public feuds and engage in altercations. He has a reputation for having a combustible personality and flying off the handle. Here are some of the more notable incidents:
Voicemail to Daughter Ireland
In 2007, during a contentious divorce from actress Kim Basinger, an irate Alec Baldwin left a voicemail for his then 11-year-old daughter Ireland that contained aggressive and inappropriate language.
He called her a “rude, thoughtless little pig” among other insults. This voicemail was leaked to the media, causing major public backlash against Baldwin. He later apologized.
Fight with Photographer
In 2013, Baldwin had an altercation with a photographer outside his Manhattan home. Baldwin approached the photographer aggressively over getting too close to his wife and infant child.
Their exchange became physical with Baldwin getting charged with assault and disorderly conduct.
Arrested on Assault Charges
In 2018, Baldwin was arrested in New York for allegedly punching a man in a dispute over a parking space. The assault charge was later dropped, but the arrest added to Baldwin’s reputation for having an explosive temper.
Altercation over Parking Spot
In late 2018, a video surfaced showing Baldwin yelling at a man who had taken a parking spot Baldwin wanted. Baldwin threatened to assault the man and hurled insults before driving away.
Remarks about Late Night Hosts
Baldwin has also gotten into messy public feuds with late night personalities over the years. He’s made disparaging remarks about David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel after appearing on their shows. His friendships with both hosts deteriorated.
His Controversial Public Comments
In addition to his temper flare ups, Alec Baldwin has also drawn criticism for controversial comments he’s made to the media over the years on a variety of topics. Here are some notable examples:
Comments about Women
Baldwin has repeatedly been accused of making sexist and inappropriate remarks about women, particularly about their appearances.
He called a female journalist a “toxic little queen” for criticizing his wife Hilaria. He also made derogatory comments about the weight of actress Shannon Doherty.
Racially Insensitive Remarks
In 2013, gay rights activists took issue with Baldwin using derogatory terms like “toxic little queen” and making stereotypical characterizations of gays. He later apologized but it added to perception of Baldwin as insensitive.
Tirades against Paparazzi
Baldwin has directed homophobic slurs against members of the paparazzi, using terms like “c–ksucking fag.” These types of angry rants have further alienated Baldwin from the public.
Comments about Black People
In 2013, Baldwin faced backlash for comments he made suggesting that Black people were responsible for increased crime in New York City. These racially charged remarks sparked outrage.
Remarks about Republicans
Alec Baldwin is an outspoken liberal and he’s caught flak for inflammatory remarks aimed at Republicans and conservative politicians over the years, wishing harm on Dick Cheney and calling Henry Hyde a “terrorist.”
His Portrayal of Trump on SNL
Alec Baldwin received lots of praise from the left for his recurring portrayal of Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live. However, his mocking impersonation of Trump enraged many on the right who saw it as cruel and unfair. Here’s more on the controversy:
Seen as Biased Against Conservatives
Many conservative viewers believe SNL has a liberal bias. So Baldwin’s unflattering impersonation of Trump struck them as yet another example of cheap shots against a conservative politician.
Belittling of Trump’s Mannerisms
Baldwin mimicked Trump’s hand gestures, facial expressions, and voice in an exaggerated manner that came across as intended to belittle. This mocking portrayal offended Trump supporters.
Increased Association with Liberal Hollywood
Due to starring on a show like SNL which often satirizes right-wing politicians, Baldwin became even more affiliated with liberal Hollywood elites in the minds of conservatives.
Feud with Trump
Donald Trump made it clear he hated Baldwin’s impersonations, calling his portrayal “mean” and Baldwin’s dying career “mediocre.” This ongoing feud with Trump himself riled up the president’s supporters against the actor.
No Equal Treatment of Democrats
Many conservatives asked why SNL and Baldwin didn’t give similar comedic treatment to older Democratic figures like Biden and Pelosi. The biased poking fun stoked anger at Baldwin.
|Exaggerated impersonation of Trump
|Seen as belittling and intentionally mocking
|Feud with Trump himself
|Fueled distaste for Baldwin among Trump supporters
|No equal comedic treatment of Democrats
|Perceived as biased and unfair targeting of GOP politicians
The “Rust” Shooting Tragedy
The most recent source of public animosity against Alec Baldwin stems from the accidental fatal shooting on the set of Baldwin’s film Rust in October 2021.
The Accidental Shooting
A gun Baldwin was using during rehearsal fired unexpectedly, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza. The gun was loaded with a real bullet rather than a blank.
The shooting remains under investigation by authorities. Charges have not been ruled out against Baldwin or others involved. Baldwin claims he did not pull the trigger and was not aware the gun contained a live round.
Multiple civil lawsuits seeking damages have been filed against Baldwin and other Rust producers by Hutchins’ family and members of the film crew. Ongoing litigation keeps the tragedy in the news.
Perceived Lack of Contrition
Some believe Baldwin did not take full responsibility for the shooting and express sufficient sympathy for Hutchins’ death. Interactions with paparazzi and tone deaf interviews stirred criticism.
Career and Reputation Damage
The shooting sparked immense backlash against Baldwin as the central figure holding the gun. The tragedy has greatly harmed his acting career and tarnished his public reputation.
Many blame Baldwin for the negligent handling of firearms on the Rust set. Fair or not, this event sparked significant public anger and turned many against the polarizing actor. The shooting solidified negative perceptions of Baldwin for a segment of the population.
Why Do Some Still Support Alec Baldwin?
While Alec Baldwin has plenty of detractors, he still enjoys support among certain segments of the public. Here are some reasons Baldwin still has defenders and fans:
Long Respected Career
Baldwin has been a renowned actor since the 1980s with highlights like Glengarry Glen Ross and 30 Rock. His undeniable talents and show business legacy still garner respect.
Shared Political Views
Staunch liberals who share Baldwin’s political beliefs and disdain for figures like Trump are more inclined to defend Baldwin and remain fans.
Some appreciate that Baldwin is unfiltered and imperfect, making him more relatable compared to other guarded Hollywood celebrities. His mistakes seem human.
For SNL viewers and others who found his Trump impersonation hilarious, Baldwin’s comedic chops continue to foster appreciation if not admiration.
As a long-time husband and father of seven children, Baldwin’s devotion to his family makes him more likable in some people’s eyes.
Talent Outweighs Flaws
Even those who admit Baldwin has some genuine flaws argue his acting abilities outweigh his shortcomings in the minds of fans.
In many ways Alec Baldwin seems to personify the polarization afflicting current American society and culture. The talented but flawed actor evokes intense reactions from both admirers and detractors.
His outspoken liberal politics, combative public persona, and tragedies like the Rust shooting have likely permanently cost him the admiration of some. Yet despite the waves of criticism and even hatred Baldwin generates in portions of the population, he retains loyal fans who separate his professional work from any personal behavior they disapprove of.
Baldwin himself would likely agree he can be his own worst enemy and that his behavior at times mars the more constructive contributions from his acting career. But there are still those who compartmentalize and remember him solely for his most acclaimed performances.
Yet the intensity of reactions on both sides may lead Baldwin to be considered more divisive a public figure now than at any point in his decades in the limelight.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did people get so angry about the voicemail Alec Baldwin left for his daughter?
Many felt the abusive language Baldwin used towards his then-young daughter Ireland was beyond the pale, showing a verbal aggression and cruelty that was unacceptable for a father. The fact that he aired such hurtful insults so publicly made many see him as an unfit parent and a bully.
What criminal charges has Alec Baldwin faced?
Baldwin was arrested and faced assault and disorderly conduct charges for allegedly punching a man during a dispute over a parking space in New York City in 2018. The assault charge was later dropped.
How did Donald Trump respond to Alec Baldwin’s impersonation of him on SNL?
Trump made it clear he despised Baldwin’s impersonation, calling it mean-spirited and biased. Trump targeted the actor in several hostile tweets, calling him “Alex Baldwin” and a “dying mediocre career.” It added fuel to the partisan responses over Baldwin’s SNL role.
How could Baldwin have avoided being charged in the shooting death on the Rust movie set?
By personally ensuring the proper checking of all firearms before handling them and refraining from pointing a gun at Hutchins and Souza until it had been verified as safe, Baldwin could have prevented the tragedy and likely avoided any potential charges or liability.
What are some of Alec Baldwin’s past movies and TV shows that fans still appreciate?
Baldwin is known for roles ranging from Beetlejuice and Working Girl to The Hunt for Red October and 30 Rock. Fans argue his acting record remains distinguished however people may feel about controversies in his personal life.