Update: MSNBC and Baldwin's rep have issued a joint press release confirming the end of Up Late with Alec Baldwin, saying "We are jointly confirming that Up Late will not continue on MSNBC." The MSNBC rep added, "This is a mutual parting and we wish Alec all the best."
Page Six is reporting that gentle, soft-spoken actor and outspoken public figure Alec Baldwin has been fired from MSNBC, where he hosts the new Friday night chat show Up Late, in the wake of an incident in which he hurled anti-gay slurs at a paparazzo who was bothering his family. Oh, right, when I said that Alec Baldwin is gentle and soft-spoken, I actually meant that Alec Baldwin screams and yells and says stupid things a lot. And now he is, if Richard Johnson's sources are to be believed, suffering the ultimate consequences of that.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident — which was caught on tape and broadcast by TMZ for all the world to see — MSNBC suspended Baldwin for two weeks, though it immediately seemed possible that that the network would just decide to cut their losses and never bring Baldwin back. Baldwin has, according to some reports, been difficult to work with beyond the anti-gay remarks, which could mean that MSNBC is using that charged language as the official reason, when in reality he's being fired for being a constant pain in the neck.
Johnson says that Baldwin has been something of a terror backstage, writing that he "demanded a separate makeup room being used by a woman with cancer who is sensitive to hairspray. When Baldwin was told he couldn’t have his way, he allegedly bellowed at the top of his lungs, 'I don’t give a f - - k if she has cancer or not, I want that f - - king makeup room.'" So... yikes. That kind of behavior would track with other slightly-less-than-confirmed reports about Baldwin's demeanor over the years.
There's also the matter of Up Late's ratings, which weren't great. So MSNBC had a low-performing show anchored by a guy who was extremely unpleasant to work with. His careless language about gay people might then be the perfect no-questions-asked reason for firing such a big hire, whose show has only aired a few episodes. But, again, nothing is confirmed, so we'll have to wait and see. If true, though? Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.