Alec Baldwin Quits Public Life and New York, Bashes Shia LaBeouf and Rachel Maddow

Truth rating: 10
(New York)

By Daniel Gates

(New York)

Alec Baldwin says he’s quitting public life — and trashes some people as he exits — in an explosive cover story essay for New York magazine.

Following a year of controversy that included repeated skirmishes with paparazzi and being fired from MSNBC after allegedly using a gay slur, the “30 Rock” star says that a more toxic atmosphere around celebrity has led him leave it behind.

“I’ve lived this for 30 years, [and] I’m done with it,” he writes.

Baldwin says, “I loathe and despise the media in a way I did not think possible.”

“I’m aware that it’s ironic that I’m making this case in the media — but this is the last time I’m going to talk about my personal life in an American publication ever again,” adds the actor.

Baldwin, who vehemently disputes the charge that he called an aggressive cameraman a “f*ggot” during the altercation that eventually led to his MSNBC dismissal, asserts, “I haven’t changed, but public life has.”

“Am I a homophobe? Look, I work in show business. I am awash in gay people, as colleagues and as friends,” argues Baldwin. “I’m doing Rock of Ages one day, making out with Russell Brand. Soon after that, I’m advocating with Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Cynthia Nixon for marriage equality. I’m officiating at a gay friend’s wedding.”

He continues, “I’m not a homophobic person at all. But this is how the world now sees me.”

Baldwin complains about the shifting media landscape (filled with “predatory videographers” and a “reliance on tabloid reporting”), a declining America (“more f*cked up now than it’s ever been”), and an increasingly inhospitable New York, which he’s called home since 1979.

“I probably have to move out of New York. I just can’t live in New York anymore. Everything I hated about L.A. I’m beginning to crave. L.A. is a place where you live behind a gate, you get in a car, your interaction with the public is minimal,” he explains.

Baldwin lashes out at his former employer and colleagues at MSNBC.

He says the network broadcasts “the same sh*t all day long” and accuses Rachel Maddow of being a “prime mover” in getting him canceled.

“I think Rachel Maddow is… a phony who doesn’t have the same passion for the truth off-camera that she seems to have on the air,” says Baldwin.

As for CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who criticized Baldwin after the gay slur controversy, the actor refers to him as a member of the “Gay Department of Justice.”

Then there’s Shia LaBeouf.

Baldwin and LaBeouf were supposed to work in a Broadway play called “Orphans” together last year, and the older star says “there was friction between us from the beginning.”

He claims that the Transformers actor “seems to carry with him… a jailhouse mentality wherever he goes” and “loves to argue.”

Baldwin writes of LaBeouf, “He had that card, that card you get when you make films that make a lot of money that gives you a certain kind of entitlement.”

At the very end of his essay, Baldwin reflects on LaBeouf’s recent red carpet stunt, noting that the actor “went to a film screening recently and he wore a bag over his head and the bag says I AM NOT FAMOUS ­ANYMORE.”

“And there was truly a part of me that felt sorry for him, oddly enough,” says Baldwin.

What do you think of Baldwin’s comments?

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