In more measured tones than he'd used Thursday to criticize a reporter who wrote about his wife, Alec Baldwin apologized Friday for the outburst in which he called the reporter a "toxic little queen," threatened to hunt him down and mess him up, and suggested he would enjoy a foot up his rear.
The Daily Mail story, which was apparently wrong in its allegations that Hilaria Baldwin was tweeting during James Gandolfini's funeral, has since been taken down, as have Baldwin's angry tweets. Baldwin in fact shut down his Twitter account entirely, not for the first time, and told Gothamist that he had no intention of returning to social media.
"Twitter began for me as a way to bypass the mainstream media and talk directly to my audience and say, 'hey here's a show I'm doing, here's something I'm doing.' But I realized it's something I'm not really... it certainly isn't worth the trouble," he told the website.
Said Baldwin said in his missive to GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, "My ill-advised attack on George Stark of the Daily Mail had absolutely nothing to do with issues of anyone's sexual orientation. My anger was directed at Mr. Stark for blatantly lying and disseminating libelous information about my wife and her conduct at our friend's funeral service. As someone who fights against homophobia, I apologize."
Baldwin noted his work over the years for marriage equality and said he wouldn't advocate violence against people for being gay, and GLAAD's Rich Ferrarro, vice president of communications, responded.
"Alec Baldwin is making it clear that the intent behind his tweets does not excuse his language, especially at a time when there were 11 incidents of violence against gay men in New York City just last month. As we all work to end such senseless acts of violence, allies like Baldwin are right to use these moments to reinforce support for the community and LGBT equality."
Still, some were wondering why Baldwin was getting off so easy.
"Why does #AlecBaldwin get a pass when he uses gay slurs?" CNN's Anderson Cooper tweeted Friday. "If a conservative talked of beating up a 'queen' they would be vilified."
Even TMZ was mocking the situation, with a vulgar but amusing headline and the following lead on its story: "Alec Baldwin just got a 'Get Out of Homophobia Jail Free' card from the people at GLAAD...."
Outside of the apology to GLAAD for using gay slurs, Baldwin was also explaining to Gothamist that he didn't even see his language as being a gay slur, addressing the word "queen" while ignoring having said that he'd "put my foot up your ... ass, George Stark, but I'm sure you'd dig it too much."
"[T]he idea of me calling this guy a 'queen' and that being something that people thought is homophobic…a queen to me has a different meaning," he said. "It's somebody who's just above. It doesn't have any necessarily sexual connotations. To me a queen... I know women that act queeny, I know men that are straight that act queeny, and I know gay men that act queeny. It doesn't have to be a definite sexual connotation, or a homophobic connotation. To me those are people who think the rules don't apply to them. This guy could blatantly lie, I mean blatantly lie about my wife on the internet and there are just no rules that apply to him, but that's outrageous to me."
His rant, he said, was not "a call for violence against a specific person because they're gay, it's a call for violence against a person who lied about my wife."