Boiling Point: Alec Baldwin and the Cult of the Asshole Celebrity

Boiling PointAlec Baldwin is in the news again and it’s not for winning an award or doing worthwhile. No, like most times this Baldwin has been in the news the past five years, it’s because he’s being a baby. The horrid wrong that set him off this time? A most likely poorly written joke for the Emmys was cut, a joke that would have cut at Rupert Murdoch.

Baby Baldwin is using his twitter privileges again to air his thoughts, complaining about Fox killing what he thought was the funniest joke – and insisting that his pre-taped segment not air. Fox agreed, and re-shot the sequence with Leonard Nimoy.

This in and of itself isn’t totally rageworthy, but it does set me over the edge because I’m collectively tired of seeing Alec Baldwin bitching on the internet – and having people still love him.

There are no two ways about it: Alec Baldwin is an asshole. Let’s completely ignore the venomous divorce proceedings between him and hottie Kim Basinger, because divorce is a nasty thing. But let’s not ignore his long, ranting tweets about politics and the status of the n-word in culture, or the time he called his daughter a “rude, thoughtless little pig” in the middle of a long, loud, tirade.

Yet, everyone loves him because he’s on a TV show people apparently watch. I don’t watch it and thus only recognize Baldwin as as a version of good-looking Alec Baldwin if he were fat and scowling all the time. Why does he get a pass for being an asshole because a character he plays is funny?

What is it about celebrity that gives everyone a pass? Let’s not forget Roman Polanski, a director defended by dozens of A-List celebrities, despite the fact he was charged with the anal rape of a minor. You can try to say there are doubts about the case or this and that, but what it comes down to is a grand jury thought there was enough evidence to go to trial and Polanski agreed to a plea bargain. Even in the best case scenario, Polanski is still a perp on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, not a hero.

Not only do these two douchebags get celebrated and defended, they get documentaries made about their struggles. Danny Glover may not get the same level of love, but for someone who praises Hugo Chavez, disses America, and punches AP photographers, he doesn’t get any amount of hate or scorn.

It’s actually kind of hard to think of a few celebrities who actually got in trouble for being assholes. Mel Gibson? He comes to mind, people were pretty hard on him after the incident with his ex, and he was made to jump through a lot of apologetic hoops after his verbal potty-mouth was unleashed while drunk. It’s easily arguable that his career hasn’t recovered from the bad publicity, and no one has made a documentary saying what a good guy he actually is.

There’s something you learn pretty quickly once you meet your idols, or celebrities, or anyone you really have a preconceived notion about: they’re regular people. Meaning, some are awesome dudes and others are complete assholes. It doesn’t matter who or what they are on TV, if they refuse to sign autographs, if they hit their significant others, if they piss on the floor, or cut people off in traffic, and put their ass-holiness on display for millions.

We shouldn’t treat these people differently than we do regular people in normal society. If some asshole cuts you off, you flip him in the bird. If you find out some dickhead screams obscenities and verbally abuses his kid, you don’t give him the award for best lawn, you give him dirty looks at the mailbox.

Alec Baldwin may be a capable actor, but he’s an asshole. Roman Polanski may have made some good movies, but he’s a fugitive from justice in a sex crimes case. Danny Glover may be too old for cop shit, but he’s not too old for punching journalists or pissing on America.

Asshole celebrities, like any assholes, push me past my boiling point, but what really gets me going is when these asshole celebrities are celebrated and defended, rather than held accountable in the court of public perception.

Grow more chest hair by reading Boiling Point

Robert Fure is many things: horror expert, ruggedly handsome man of the world, witty prose composer, and writer of his own biography page. Beneath the bravado is a scared little boy, ready to grow into an awesome man and make lies about a scared little boy inside of him. Wait a minute...

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