Why Alec Baldwin’s ‘Ironic’ Joke About Gillian Anderson’s Accent Backfired
Alec Baldwin says that he had a shocking realization about Twitter that made him officially step away from the platform. The actor responded to a post on the platform that featured Gillian Anderson switching accents, as she was born in the United States but grew up in London. Baldwin’s attempt at a dry joke about […]
Alec Baldwin says that he had a shocking realization about Twitter that made him officially step away from the platform. The actor responded to a post on the platform that featured Gillian Anderson switching accents, as she was born in the United States but grew up in London. Baldwin’s attempt at a dry joke about the matter, however, drew enough blowback due to his wife’s heritage scandal that he deactivated his account.
“Deactivated my Twitter today. So…onward with Instagram. And thank you,” he wrote in the caption of a video he posted to his Instagram explaining what happened and why he left Twitter.
Alec Baldwin had commented on a video of Anderson’s speech, writing “switching accents? That sounds … fascinating.” The actor seems to have been joking about the controversy surrounding his wife’s allegedly faked heritage and accent, but apparently, too many people responded with hostility or negativity for him.
“And, of course, you can’t do any irony on Twitter,” he explained in his video. “You can’t do any irony in the United States anymore because the United States is such an uptight, stressed-out place and such an unpleasant place right now.”
Baldwin also clarified that he was a “huge, huge” fan of Anderson and was merely trying to reference the intricacies of multiculturalism. “I’m sending a message out to the actress that was the subject of my comment that was not meant at all to be offensive,” he added. While Hilaria Baldwin’s situation involves a mostly faked background in Spain, Gillian Anderson’s accent is unquestionable.
When Anderson returned to the United States after spending her formative years in London, she was bullied so hard over her British accent that she forced herself to switch to a Midwestern one. In the years since, she’s able to easily swap back and forth, especially in interviews with British or American reporters. To be fair to Alec Baldwin, the distinct difference in the situations does seem ripe for a joke, although such a dry one is a tough sell through a tweet.
“When I made that comment about people switching cultures, if you will, it was in no way meant to be derogatory to someone I admire,” he said. “I don’t know this person at all, but I admire their talent, [it’s] bottomless.”
“You can’t say anything dark enough to describe a lot of the crowd on Twitter,” Alec Baldwin said. “The problem with Twitter is that there’s a lot of haters.” He broke the platform down as “one-third interesting posts,” “one-third tedious, uninteresting, puerile nonsense,” and “one-third, or more maybe, just abject hatred and malice and unpleasantness.”
While he admitted that he still got some negativity on Instagram — namely commenters who think they’re the first to tell him that he’s an older dad or that his wife is younger than him — he much preferred it to Twitter.
“I am very grateful to all the people on Instagram who have embraced me, my wife, my family.” The couple just welcomed a baby girl to their family, and Alec Baldwin says that he’s glad he’s at the point in his career that he can cut back on working a great deal to focus on his family. Despite the social media troubles, he “couldn’t be happier” with his life and says he owes a great deal of that happiness to Hilaria.
Given that his account is deactivated, it remains to be seen as to whether or not he’ll rejoin Twitter at some point in the future. Of course, he’s also just as free to start up a burner account and follow the same news providers, but unfortunately, @NotAlecBaldwin already looks taken.
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