For the Emmy’s opening number, Fox News trimmed a skit featutring Alec Baldwin playing a television executive because the bit referenced Rupert Murdoch and the NewCorp hacking scandal. The joke was pre-approved by producers. Baldwin then removed himself from the skit itself–Leonard Nimoy replaced him– when the joke was snipped, writing today:
A couple of days later, I was informed that the producers had been told by some Fox entity that the joke had to be cut. I then asked that the entire piece be omitted, as I felt the joke was, perhaps, the funniest thing in it.
Baldwin was not at the awards ceremony; he had commited to hosting a benefit in New York to honor Tony Bennett’s on the singer’s 85th birthday.
Leonard Nimoy replaced Baldwin in the censored piece, which omitted the television executive asking if Rupert Murdoch was listening to the call. A Fox spokesperson told Deadline.com
they said they made the decision not because the joke involved Murdoch but because they take the phone-hacking allegations very seriously and did not want to be seen as making light of them.
Baldwin tweeted Sunday:
If I were enmeshed in a scandal where I hacked phones of families of innocent crime victims purely 4 profit, I’d want that 2 go away, 2.
In his Huffington Post piece, Baldwin had even stronger words for Fox and its parent News Corp
I suppose I am accustomed to a different experience, having worked on 30 Rock for so long, where we have been given the license to skewer the General Electric corporate culture without interference from GE. GE was nothing but gracious and even appreciative of the jokes.
However, in some sense, I understand News Corps.’ reluctance to include that joke. If I were accused of illegally hacking into the private phone messages of the families of innocent crime victims and doing so purely for profit, I would be eager for that scandal to go away, too.
There have been rumblings of Alec Baldwin running for Mayor of New York City, or possibly for Senate seat. Here’s his impression of Congress, based on having testified before both the House and Senate: