Alec Baldwin was nominated for a tenth time at this year’s Emmy awards, and considering his stint on 30 Rock is coming to an end, most people thought it was pretty strange that he wasn’t present at last night’s ceremony. But if you’ve been following Baldwin’s Twitter account, you’re already aware of a controversy that most people are citing as the reason he declined to appear with the rest of his cast mates at the Nokia Theatre.
What happened was Baldwin had signed on to be part of the awards’ opening sketch and appear as the president of television. He filmed the segment, and included some jokes about Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation’s hacking scandal. Everything was all set to air until Thursday, when Baldwin got word that Fox cut his remarks about News Corp. Baldwin was so disappointed with Fox’s decision to eliminate the jokes that he told the network that he didn’t want the bit to air, and so the segment had to be entirely re-shot (this time, with Leonard Nimoy). Yesterday before the awards, Baldwin tweeted, “Fox did kill my NewsCorp hacking joke. Which sucks bc I think it would have made them look better. A little.” EW apparently spoke to Fox and inquired about the removal of the jokes from the sketch, and reported that “the network was very clear that the decision to cut the joke was made at the Fox level — not by anyone at News Corp. Fox also claims that the reason of the joke was cut was not because of Murdoch’s name, but because it was in poor taste to make light of the serious allegations surrounding the phone-hacking scandal.”
So most people believed Baldwin didn’t attend the Emmys based on principle. But last night, he told reporters that the real reason he wasn’t with the rest of the 30 Rock crew in Los Angeles was because he had plans to attend a celebration for tony Bennett’s 85th birthday in New York City. When People asked him if he wasn’t at the Emmys because he was still bitter about his jokes getting cut, Baldwin said “I didn’t skip the Emmys because of that. I skipped the Emmys because of this (referring to Tony Bennett’s party) — because I wanted to be here.” He also added, “The Emmys are something I’m going to watch on YouTube tomorrow.” And quite honestly, he brings up a pretty good point.