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MSNBC Forces Alec Baldwin to Take Some Time Off [Updated]

Alec Baldwin attends the "Blood Ties" Premiere during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Grand Theatre Lumiere on May 20, 2013 in Cannes, France.

Alec Baldwin's MSNBC show, Up Late, did not air at its usual time last night, nor will it next week, thanks to the actor's Thursday homophobic outburst at a paparazzo. Though Baldwin absurdly claims that he only called the guy a "cocksucking fathead" as opposed to the more commonly used "cocksucking faggot," MSNBC apparently found whatever he said offensive enough to briefly suspend him. Baldwin apologized for the whole thing in a non-Twitter statement:

I would like to address the comments I made this past week.

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. 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.

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.

This is just a reminder that this is hardly the first time he's done something like this.

Update: Baldwin has published a longer statement to his Huffington Post blog. The most interesting aspect of it is his suggestion that the ratings-challenged Up Late might not survive. "Whether the show comes back at all is at issue right now," he wrote. "The show is no doubt a work in progress and one that I believe featured some interesting guests and disseminated a good deal of interesting information. But if the show dies, its fate ends up being no different than the vast majority of start-up TV programming, and so be it." He also complained about the press's tendency to "harass and hector" his wife and "provoke" him. "If quitting the television business, the movie business, the theatre, any component of entertainment, is necessary in order to bring safety and peace to my family, then that is an easy decision," added a man who occasionally manages to quit Twitter for a couple months.

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Photo: Ian Gavan/WireImage