Alec Baldwin apologizes, jokes at tech conferenceSAN FRANCISCO - Alec Baldwin jokingly professed his love for a man in front of a large crowd Wednesday as he tried to ease the backlash triggered by an Internet clip that captured him berating a photographer with what sounded like a gay slur.
“I want you to be my lover, Matt,’’ Baldwin told a member of his entourage after asking him to stand up. “I love you, Matt. I love you in that way.’’
After the packed audience’s laughter died down, Baldwin added that he has loved some men more than women during his life, although never in a sexual way.
The Emmy-winning actor prefaced his moment of levity with plenty of contrition as he sought to minimize any lingering damage to his career from the fallout after a confrontation with a photographer outside his New York home last week. He made his appearance at a major technology conference in San Francisco, a city that has been at the forefront of the gay rights movement for decades.
Echoing remarks that he made in blog post over the weekend, Baldwin denied punctuating a profanity-laced tirade with an epithet that demeans gay men.
MSNBC suspended Baldwin’s talk show on the TV network for two weeks after the entertainment website TMZ posted a video of the combustible actor’s latest outburst. The TV network hasn’t said whether the show, “Up Late with Alec Baldwin,’’ will return.
Baldwin, 55, has gotten into heated exchanges previously with photographers taking pictures of him and his family. He also was kicked off a plane in 2011 after he refused to stop playing a game on his smartphone.
The actor told Wednesday’s crowd that he hopes his 3-month-old daughter learns to control her temper better than he has as an adult. He also says he now realizes he needs to chose his words more carefully.
“If in any context in the world that we live in today, if any word is remotely offensive to people, then I’m perfectly willing to learn a different word,’’ he said.
Baldwin also lamented people’s tendency to believe everything they hear and read on the Internet. AP