There are those public figures who demonstrate a distinct lack of self-awareness or perspective when talking to the media, such as Gwyneth Paltrow. Then there are those who seem to issue pointless, jaw-dropping public statements like Charlie Sheen did a few years back. And then there are those who have inexplicably insulted large populations of people during temper tantrums like the Mel Gibson of years gone by.
But rarely is there an individual who happens to embody all three of these qualities at once. Yet despite his repeated expressions of desiring his privacy and yearning to be out of the spotlight, Alec Baldwin continues to fan the flames of controversy on a regular basis. While his acting chops are beyond reproach, his behavior away from soundstages and movie shoots continues to be equal parts riveting, abhorrent, and puzzling.
We’ve manage to cull through his years of rants and blathering to deliver the top ten dumbest statements, phrases, and accusations that Alec Baldwin has ever said or tweeted.
10. “Florida is a parallel universe. A f*cked-up one.” – Twitter
On its face, this tweet seems relatively harmless. But let’s put it into context: after Baldwin had “closed” his Twitter account, the polarizing actor for some reason decided to jump back into the Twittersphere. And the first tweet he decides to issue upon his return? Not “Hey, I’m back.” Or “Giving Twitter another chance.” Nope. He insults a state which is home to almost as many people as his native New York. Without giving any reason for it. And then deletes his tweet minutes later. What was he thinking? Was he just trying to see if Twitterers would remember him? If so, you succeeded, Alec. People never forget an asshole.
9. “If everyone that follows me sent me $20, I would be able to finally have some well-deserved peace and quiet…” – Twitter
Yes, we know that Alec was just using a figure of speech in this tweet and that the millionaire actor wasn’t actually asking for $20 apiece from his Twitter followers. But he apparently still failed to see that the phrase could be interpreted as “indirect humblebrag” by many. (Think about it: what if one of the Koch brothers had started a message with the same eight words? Exactly. He’d be excoriated). But the more obvious reaction to this idiotic tweet was the following day’s response by follower @TCWaterback: “I’ll send you $20 to shut up…as long as you stick to it.—” In other words: want privacy? Stop saying and doing dumb stuff in public that gets you media attention.
8. “The US should invest many billions in renewable energy tech and THAT would become our new Detroit” – Twitter
Oh, dear. Another insane tweet. This gem comes straight out of the “limousine liberal” playbook. Newsflash, Alec: in the seven years before you typed that moronic tweet, the world invested a total of 1,071 billion dollars (yep, over $1 trillion) in renewable energies. So even when the U.S. got help from numerous other nations, renewable energy today still accounts for less than 15% of America’s electricity generation and only about 20% worldwide. Moral of the story? You can’t just throw money at a problem and expect it to be solved (see: U.S. public education, U.S. poverty, U.S. war in Iraq). But Baldwin’s right about one thing: if the government continues to throw “many billions” at renewable energy, the city/state/country at this eco-movement’s epicenter would indeed wind up like the hollowed-out, bankrupt, dying shell that is modern-day Detroit.
7. American Airlines is “where Catholic-school gym teachers from the 1950’s find jobs as flight attendants.” – Twitter
Every blowhard needs a pulpit, and Twitter seems to suit Baldwin well for that purpose. You may have guessed that this tweet was one of the many issued in response to the actor being booted off an American Airlines flight for an altercation that began when Baldwin was told to stop playing Words With Friends on his mobile device. Look, Alec: everyone has had a bad experience with a rude or surly flight attendant (and American is among the most complained-about carriers). But you gotta realize that you’re sharing a plane with more than 100 other people who are being delayed because some jerk (in first class!) is playing a non-time sensitive game and won’t turn off his damn phone so the plane can get moving. And a halfhearted apology doesn’t make it all better.
6. “crackhead, ex-jailhouse…” “drug dealer…” “coon…” – Street in New York’s East Village
These phrases and others were reportedly uttered by Alec Baldwin to a black photographer on a New York street. The target of these delightful epithets was New York Post photographer and former decorated NYPD cop G.N. Miller, who also claimed Baldwin told Miller to “s*ck my dIck.” Baldwin informed a passersby that Miller was a drug dealer and an ex-con, and denigrated Miller’s mother. Baldwin actually tweeted “crackhead, ex jailhouse paparazzi!” before removing it, but denies all of the other remarks. There was a lot of “actor said, photog said” rhetoric involved with this incident, but Baldwin later admitted that he takes responsibility for being confrontational with the media. If he realized the errors of his ways and changed his behavior, perhaps he should receive the benefit of the doubt. Did Alec do precisely that? You probably know the answer – and if you don’t, keep reading.
5. “I want you to choke to death.” – Street in New York’s East Village
The aforementioned rant may have been the main event, but the undercard was equally as memorable. Prior to Baldwin’s encounter with Miller, the actor was approached by New York Post reporter Tara Palmeri who wanted to ask the actor about a lawsuit that was filed against his wife. After Palmeri asked, “Is there anything you want to say?” Baldwin then turned to the petite reporter, grasped her arm and said, “Yes, actually. I want you to choke to death.” There’s no ambiguity about the existence of this quote; Baldwin admitted that he said it, adding, “And I cross the street and I laugh. And maybe people don’t find that funny, that’s okay.” Gee, Alec, ya think? You know, a “No comment” would have gotten the job done without any menacing douchebaggery. (Side question: Palmeri recorded the exchange. Would Baldwin been as forthcoming about his words had no recording device been present?). It gets better. After the confrontation with the photographer, Baldwin had the gall to say that he “felt threatened” by Miller moments after uttering those threatening seven words to Palmeri! Do as Alec says, not as he does, we suppose.
4. “I’m gonna find you, George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I’m gonna f*ck…you…up.” – Twitter
This was the most publicized comment in his Twitter rant against the British journalist who had earlier reported that Alec Baldwin‘s wife was tweeting during a funeral for actor James Gandolfini. The actor denied it with the tweet: “Someone wrote that my wife was tweeting at a funeral. Hey. That’s not true. But I’m gonna tweet at your funeral.” On the whole, a measured response for Baldwin. But the next day, Baldwin continued the tirade with the quote above and doubled down with “George Stark, you lying little bitch. I am gonna f%#@ you up.” (Does that meet the definition of “feeling threatened,” Alec?), Even though The Daily Mail stood by its story, it’s unclear whether Baldwin’s wife actually did tweet during the funeral. Nevertheless, a more even-keeled person without a hair-trigger temper might have chosen to issue a public statement denouncing Stark’s story instead of stooping to hurling homophobic threats in a public forum (and then deleting them, again). Instead, the facts become irrelevant and Baldwin ended up looking like a violent lunatic bigot.
3. “How old are these officers? They don’t even know who I am.” – NYPD 13th Precinct, Manhattan, New York
Okay, this is the most recent entry on this list, so it’s clear that this is more of just “Alec being Alec.” That said, Alec Baldwin actually had a legitimate beef with New York’s approach to fighting crime. There’s no denying that Baldwin broke the law by riding his bicycle against traffic on Fifth Street, and the cops detained him for that reason. But there apparently is a stupid rule in New York that you can’t just issue someone a ticket and let them go if they aren’t carrying valid identification. And it’s a safe bet that Baldwin isn’t the only New Yorker who doesn’t carry ID when he rides his bike for exercise. The actor even summed up this situation cleverly by later tweeting, “New York City is a mismanaged carnival of stupidity that is desperate for revenue and anxious to criminalize behavior once thought benign.” (not a parallel fucked-up universe like Florida, but close.)
Nevertheless, Baldwin reportedly reacted to the situation with his trademark volatility and lack of class, dropping F-bombs left and right while being placed in the cop car. Later, he tweets the name and badge number of the arresting officer who was just doing her job. Then he whines about not getting police to handle the paparazzi who keep photographing his family (would the tabloids continuously target a celebrity who’s not constantly in the news? We think not.). He put the icing on the cake by playing the universally-reviled “don’t you know who I am?” quote at the police station, even though carrying an actual ID would have resolved that issue before it started. (It turns out that the on-duty commanding officer DID in fact recognize Baldwin “from his previous run-ins with the law.”)
2. “C*cksucking f*g.*” – Street in New York’s East Village, New York
*- Or fathead. Or something.
This was the incident that put the final nail in the coffin for Alec Baldwin and his MSNBC show, which was officially cancelled shortly after this incident. Again, the paparazzi was involved; and again, it involved the actor taking umbrage at a person videotaping his family. This time, Baldwin marched toward the cameraman and ordered him to get away from Baldwin’s car, and the paparazzo complied. But then, Baldwin was heard to utter the homophobic slur as he got into the car. Shortly thereafter, Baldwin denied that he used the word “faggot” and claimed on Twitter that the video itself revealed the word to be “fathead.” (Sure. A word we all use when we’re really angry. OK, Alec.).
Then he wrote in the Huffington Post that he never used the slur, although what he did actually say was “unclear.” But here’s the thing: Baldwin has repeatedly insisted that he’s not a homophobe, and maybe he’s right. So why does he continue to use language that is deeply offensive to the LGBT community whenever he gets his knickers in a twist?
1. “You are a rude, thoughtless little pig.” – voicemail left on daughter Ireland Baldwin’s mobile phone
Out of the vast cache of material that has gone into creating this list, this declaration garners the #1 spot for a few reasons. First, while these other deplorable quotes were leveled at strangers, this one he reserved for a member of his own family. Secondly, Baldwin inexplicably issued the rebuke knowing full well that it would be recorded for posterity – and could likely be used against him in his then-ongoing custody battle with ex-wife Kim Basinger (which it was). And finally, he violated one of the cardinal rules of parenting: while you may sometimes feel this way about your offspring (many a parent has), you never, ever, EVER verbalize these thoughts to them, because the potential lasting damage that the words could do far outweigh any momentary satisfaction you gain from expressing your feelings. (Footnote: in an astonishing display of understanding and forgiveness, his daughter publicly dismissed those comments as being blown out of proportion.)