MSNBC Drops Alec Baldwin in Wake of Up Late Host's Anti-Gay Rant

MSNBC Fires Alec BaldwinAlec Baldwin will no longer be staying Up Late — nor spending any other daypart, for that matter — with MSNBC, in the wake of controversial comments made by the talk show host/actor earlier this month.

Though the cable newser is officially qualifying the split as “mutual,” an MSNBC source told Page Six, which was first to report on the break-up, “He’s gone…. The Comcast guys have decided.” (A rep for Baldwin meanwhile offered Page Six this spin: “The show is not coming back. [Alec] had questions on whether he wanted to continue.”)

Baldwin made the wrongest kind of headlines on Nov. 14 when, in dealing with a paparazzo, he hurled several anti-gay epithets. Soon afterward, he attempted to atone for his actions, saying, “I did not intend to hurt or offend anyone with my choice of words, but clearly I have – and for that I am deeply sorry. Words are important. I understand that, and will choose mine with great care going forward. … Behavior like this undermines hard-fought rights that I vigorously support.”

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper was among those to promptly dismiss Baldwin’s mea culpa, saying, “[A]nybody can say anything they want. But then don’t lie about it afterward and claim you don’t know this was an anti-gay slur.”

Per Variety, Up Late premiered in early October to 654,000 viewers total overall, with 172,000 landing in the 25-54 demo. Prior to being pulled from the network’s schedule for two weeks after Baldwin’s offensive outburst, the show drew just 395,000 viewers, with barely 100K in the target demo.