“Up Late,” which airs Friday nights, will be pulled from the network’s schedule tonight and for next week, Baldwin said in a statement on MSNBC’s website.
In his statement, Baldwin acknowledged that he had used “offensive” and “unacceptable” language, saying, “I am deeply sorry.”
“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,” Baldwin wrote in the Friday statement. “Words are important. I understand that, and will choose mine with great care going forward. What I said and did this week, as I was trying to protect my family, was offensive and unacceptable. Behavior like this undermines hard-fought rights that I vigorously support. I understand ‘Up Late’ will be taken off the schedule for tonight and next week.”
The actor concluded, “I want to apologize to my loyal fans and to my colleagues at MSNBC – both for my actions and for distracting from their good work. Again, please accept my apology.”
The famously hotheaded actor’s most recent round of controversy began Thursday, when video published by TMZ seemed to capture him calling a paparazzo a “cocksucking fag.”
Baldwin took to his Twitter account shortly thereafter to clarify that he had actually said “fathead.” However, he later tweeted that, at the advice of GLAAD vice president of communications Rich Ferraro, he should not have used the phrase “cocksucking.”
“Rich Ferraro from @glaad informs me that c’sucker is an anti-gay epithet. In which case I apologize and will retire it from my vocabulary,” Baldwin wrote Thursday night.
Reacting to the suspension, Ferraro said that Baldwin needs to take “real action.”
“Alec Baldwin still needs to take real action. MSNBC has sent a message that anti-gay slurs carry consequences, and that’s an important standard to uphold at a time when LGBT people continue to face disproportionate levels of bullying and violence just because of who they are,” Ferraro said in a statement Friday.
Baldwin came under fire from CNN newsman Anderson Cooper, who accused Baldwin of making “ridiculous” excuses.
“Wow, Alec Baldwin shows his true colors yet again,” Cooper wrote Friday. “How is he going to lie and excuse his anti-gay slurs this time?”
GLAAD also criticized Baldwin, as did journalist Andrew Sullivan, who labeled the actor a “homophobic bigot.”
Earlier this year, Baldwin issued an apology to GLAAD, after referring to Daily Mail reporter a “queen” and threatened to beat him, after Stark claimed that Baldwin’s wife Hilaria had tweeted during the funeral service for “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini.