November 16, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
MSNBC suspends Alec Baldwin talk show over anti-gay slur

Alec Baldwin, gay news, Washington Blade

Alec Baldwin (Photo by David Shankbone; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

MSNBC on Friday suspended Alec Baldwin’s new weekly talk show for two weeks after he used an anti-gay slur against a New York photographer.

A video that TMZ posted on its website shows Baldwin calling a paparazzo who tried to take a picture of his wife and infant daughter as they sat in a car parked outside their Manhattan apartment as a “cocksucking fag.” The confrontation took place hours after Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Robert Mandelbaum sentenced a Canadian woman who prosecutors accused of stalking the actor to six months in jail.

Baldwin initially claimed he called the photographer “fathead,” but he subsequently apologized for the incident.

“I did not intend to hurt or offend anyone with my choice of words, but clearly I have – and for that I am deeply sorry,” Baldwin said in a statement MSNBC posted to its website late on Friday. “What I said and did this week, as I was trying to protect my family, was offensive and unacceptable. Behavior like this undermines hard-fought rights that I vigorously support.”

Baldwin has previously faced criticism for using anti-gay slurs.

He described British reporter George Stark as a “toxic little queen” after he said Baldwin’s wife tweeted about recipes during actor James Gandolfini’s funeral in June. Baldwin subsequently apologized for the comment in a statement to GLAAD.

“MSNBC has sent a message that anti-gay slurs carry consequences, and that’s an important standard to uphold at a time when LGBT people continue to face disproportionate levels of bullying and violence just because of who they are,” GLAAD Vice President of Communications Rich Ferraro said on Friday. “Mr. Baldwin can’t lend his support for equality on paper, while degrading gay people in practice. It’s clearly time he listens to the calls from so many LGBT people and allies to end this pattern of anti-gay slurs.”

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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