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Alec Baldwin met with gay rights group over slur row

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Feb 24, 2014 | 7:10am EST

Actor Alec Baldwin set up a meeting with a gay rights group in Hawaii recently in a bid to calm tensions following his 2013 slur row. The 30 Rock star sparked outrage among equality rights campaigners in November (13) when he was accused of using a homophobic insult to berate a photographer who got too close to his wife and daughter. Baldwin subsequently lost his TV talk show, and later issued a public apology. He has now revealed he set up a meeting with several gay rights groups during a work trip to Hawaii, and offered his help and support for their various programs. In an article for New York magazine, he writes, "I flew to Hawaii recently to shoot a film, fresh on the heels of being labelled a homophobic bigot... I wanted to speak with a gay rights group that I had researched and admired, so I called its local Honolulu branch... "I met with (a man called) Nick and others from two LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) organisations. We talked for a while about the torment of the LGBT life many of them have lived while growing up in traditional Hawaiian families. Macho fathers... "One young man, an F-to-M (female to male) tranny (transsexual), said, 'Are you here to get dry-cleaned, like Brett Ratner?' Meaning I could do some mea culpa, write them a six-figure check, go to a dinner, sob at the table, give a heartfelt speech, beg for forgiveness... I said, 'No. I don't want to get dry-cleaned. I don't want to be decontaminated by you... I want to learn about what is hurtful speech in your community. I want to participate in some programs about that. Or underwrite one. And then, like you, I just want to be left alone'." Baldwin is also adamant his reputation as a homophobe is undeserved. He adds, "Am I a homophobe? Look, I work in show business. I am awash in gay people, as colleagues and as friends. I'm doing Rock of Ages one day, making out with Russell Brand. Soon after that, I'm advocating with Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Cynthia Nixon for marriage equality. I'm officiating at a gay friend's wedding. I'm not a homophobic person at all. But this is how the world now sees me. "I haven't changed, but public life has."

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