Alec Baldwin has criticized Fox Network after it disallowed a taped skit for Sunday's telecast in which the actor poked fun at News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch and the highly publicized phone hacking scandal.
On Thursday, Baldwin tweeted: “I did a short Emmy pre-tape a few days ago. Now they tell me News Corp may cut the funniest line.”
On Sunday he offered this: “If I were enmeshed in a scandal where I hack the phone of families of innocent crime victims purely 4 profit, I’d want that 2 go away, 2.”
Fox Network, which is owned by News Corp, objected to the segment due to what it claimed to be inappropriate content. The network stated that it was inappropriate to make light of an issue being taken seriously by the company.
The joke reportedly involved Baldwin conversing on a telephone then asking, “Is that you, Rupert?” a pointed reference to the scandal and the suggestion that Murdoch was eavesdropping on the conversation.
Legendary television actor, Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock from Star Trek, was a last minute sub who appeared in place of the now controversial skit.
Insisting that the decision to cut the segment was made exclusively by the network, Fox appears to be downplaying speculation that the decision to axe the skit was made by its parent corporation.
The Baldwin controversy caps a week of entertainment news which focused on the now conventional issue of phone hacking, coming on the heels of a series of reports involving starlet Scarlett Johansson and stolen photographs which were allegedly hacked from her cellular phone.
Baldwin was not personally schedule to appear at the Emmy Award telecast due to a previous commitment to attend a Birthday Party for singer Tony Bennett in New York.