Plug for an article I wrote on my other blog about the recent Alec Baldwin kerfuffle. I honestly have no idea why this in particular inspired me to write so in-depth, but it did. Feel free to ignore, or click through if the discussion interests you.
The lovely and (in my opinion) over-forgiving Stephen Fry tweeted:
Extraordinary article by Alec Baldwin. Very brave, and it will doubtless be very mocked and vilified. Oh the ups and downs of public life…
And linked to this article by Alec Baldwin on Vulture.com that originally appeared in the February 24, 2014 issue of New York Magazine.
I would not have read it, but … Stephen Fry.
I like some of Baldwin’s work. I had not followed the earlier kerfuffle, because, sadly, I have grown so jaundiced about public figures that “So-and-so said something homophobic” barely raises a ripple.
So I read the article.
A thing I have often said is this: everyone fucks up. The real test of a person’s mettle is how they react when called out on it.
I don’t think this article is going to win anyone over. In fact, I find myself thinking less of him for the article (not an apology, no!) than for the original incident (and we’ll get to that. He certainly does).
I am tempted to do a line-by-line on this, but it would be tedious for me, and tedious to read. Let me summarize, though, with some reaction as we go.
The title, "Good Bye, Public Life" kinda sets the tone. It’s not going to be about what he said or what he meant, it’s going to be about how being a celebrity sucks. Okay, it does suck in a lot of ways, sure, but it’s not going to win any sympathy to head it off that way.
I flew to Hawaii recently to shoot a film, fresh on the heels of being labeled a homophobic bigot by Andrew Sullivan, Anderson Cooper, and others in the Gay Department of Justice.
"Gay Department of Justice"? Jesus Christ. I know he’s trying for hyperbole and humor, here, but come on. Starting off by presenting himself as the victim always goes well. I keep wanting to chastise him for writing a non-apology, but it is clear from the start that this is never intended to be an apology. It is a chance to try to make the people who called him out feel bad, because he’s a nice guy, and knows gay people.