Alec Baldwin is mad as hell and can’t take life in New York any more.
Baldwin, 55, appears on the cover of the Feb. 24 issue of New York magazine looking very serious beside the cover line “I Give Up, by Alec Baldwin.”
And as anyone might have guessed, Baldwin is citing the tabloid media as the primary reason for his his planned relocation to the West Coast.
“I loathe and despise the media in a way I did not think possible,” Baldwin writes in the essay. “This is the last time I’m going to talk about my personal life in an American publication again.”
In the essay, Baldwin says his ongoing confrontations with the paparazzi have soured him on life in the Big Apple.
“I find myself bitter, defensive and more misanthropic than I care to admit,” he writes.
More specifically, Baldwin recounts the now-infamous incident from last November when he was accused of leveling an anti-gay slur toward a TMZ photographer attempting to take a picture of the actor and his new wife, Hilaria, and their infant daughter.
At the time, the incident prompted MSNBC to suspend Baldwin from his just-launched late-night talk show Up Late with Alec Baldwin. The cable channel subsequently fired Baldwin and cancelled the show, which “came out of nowhere,” according to Baldwin.
For the most part, the essay finds the Oscar-nominated actor trying to make sense of the incident from three months ago.
“I’m trying to understand what happened,” Baldwin writes. “How an altercation on the street, in which I was accused – wrongly – of using a gay slur, could have cascaded like this. There’s been a shift in my life. And it’s caused me to step back and say, ‘This is happening for a reason.’”
Baldwin also argues in his essay that he has a long track record in supporting gay causes.
“Am I a homophobe? Look, I work in show business. I am awash in gay people, as colleagues and as friends. I’m doing Rock of Ages one day, making out with Russell Brand. Soon after that, I’m advocating with [Modern Family’s] Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Cynthia Nixon for marriage equality. I’m officiating at a gay friend’s wedding.”
Asserts Baldwin: “I’m not a homophobic person at all. But this is how the world now sees me.”
Of course, it doesn’t help Baldwin’s argument that in the same essay he readily acknowledges referring to a Daily Mail correspondent as a “toxic little queen” after the reporter accused the actor’s wife of tweeting during James Gandolfini’s funeral.
In his essay, Baldwin also refers to the “Gay Department of Justice” and calls CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper “the self-appointed Jack Valenti of gay media culture.”
Baldwin takes sharp aim at other targets in his 5284-word opus.
Targets such as: Openly gay MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, whom Baldwin accuses of masterminding his ejection from the news channel. Baldwin calls her “a phony who doesn’t have the same passion for the truth off-camera that she seems to have on the air.”
Maddow responded to Baldwin’s claims on Sunday by tweeting, “I have never met Mr. Baldwin, either on camera or off-camera. I wish him all the best.”
Baldwin also describes TMZ founder Harvey Levin as “a cretinous barnacle on the press … Do you honestly believe that I would give someone like TMZ’s Harvey Levin, of all people, another club to beat me with?”
And Baldwin even takes a shot at Transformers star Shia LaBeouf, with whom he worked fleetingly on the Broadway play Orphans, before LaBeouf was fired and replaced by Ben Foster.
“He [LaBeouf] 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,” Baldwin writes. “I think he was surprised that it didn’t work in the theatre.”
Bizarrely, in the very same essay Baldwin changes lanes and ends up empathizing with LaBeouf by stating, “Shia LaBeouf went to a film screening recently and 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.”
But in the essay’s final take, Baldwin insists that he’s now a devoted family man and wants to start life all over again in Los Angeles.
“I don’t want to be Mr. Show Business anymore,” he writes. “I want the same thing everybody else wants. I want a happy home, and for the first time in my adult life, I have one.”