- Reuters/Andrew Kelly
Actor Alec Baldwin recently announced that he is retiring from his "public life" as a celebrity, as he blasted the media for "wrongly" painting him as a "homophobe."
In an extensive article published Monday by New York Magazine, titled "I Give Up," Baldwin says the New York City-centered, tabloid-oriented media culture has forced him to give up his role in the public eye and leave the city. He is considering a possible move to Los Angeles, where he feels he can get privacy for himself and his family, including his wife Hilaria and their six-month old child, Carmen.
"I probably have to move out of New York," Baldwin said. "I just can't live in New York anymore." The Emmy-award winning actor went on to say that his personality hasn't changed, but rather the highly-technical landscape of the media world has caused him to be forever haunted by past comments.
"I haven't changed, but public life has ... You're out there in a world where if you do make a mistake, it echoes in a digital canyon forever," Baldwin said in the article, also noting that today, everyone has a camera in their pocket.
"In the New Media culture, anything good you do is tossed in a pit, and you are measured by who you are on your worst day."
The actor pointed to a specific incident in November 2013, when Baldwin said he was "wrongly" accused by a New York Post photographer of using a gay slur. The actor's public image was also damaged when he called a journalist for the Daily Mail a "toxic little queen" after the male reporter accused Hilaria Baldwin of tweeting during the funeral of "Sopranos" star James Gandolfini.
"Now I loathe and despise the media in a way I did not think possible. I used to engage with the media knowing that some of it would be adversarial, but now it's superfluous at best and toxic at its worst," Baldwin said. "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."
He specifically called out Fox and MSNBC as being redundant and superfluous.
The 55-year-old "30 Rock" star went on to accuse columnist Andrew Sullivan, journalist Anderson Cooper and the rest of the "Gay Department of Justice" of vilifying him as a "homophobic bigot" when in actually he says he is not.
"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 Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Cynthia Nixon for marriage equality. I'm officiating at a gay friend's wedding. I'm not a homophobic person at all. But this is how the world now sees me."
It's not only the T.V. networks and New York that have changed for the worse, he pointed out. "Even the U.S., which is so preposterously judgmental now. The heart, the arteries of the country are now clogged with hate."
In his 5,000-word essay, Baldwin also touched on contentious relationship with actor Shia LaBeouf, with whom the actor butted heads while the two rehearsed for the Broadway play "Orphans." The actor concluded his article by saying he hopes to possibly move to California where he feels his private life may be well-respected.
"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."
"I used to hate that. But New York has changed. Manhattan is like Beverly Hills. And the soul of New York has moved to Brooklyn, where everything new and exciting seems to be. I have to accept that. I want my newest child to have as normal and decent a life as I can provide. New York doesn't seem the place for that anymore."