Sacked from his TV chat show, notorious for angrily tussling with paparazzi photographers and hounded over alleged gay slurs, Alec Baldwin claims he can no longer live in New York.
In an extraordinary article peppered with swear words and published in Monday’s edition of New York Magazine, the A-list actor says he is finished with public life and that America’s biggest city no longer offers his baby daughter a “normal” life.
The nearly 5300-word rant denied allegations that he insulted gays and lashed out furiously against the media, the city where he has lived since 1979 and US public life in general.
Under the headline “Good-bye, Public Life” he claimed he was done with show business and said New York had “changed”.
Baldwin claimed the city of eight million, the cultural capital of America and home to some of the world’s biggest stars, no longer offered anonymity or polite, respectful interactions.
Instead he painted a picture of a general public obsessed with celebrity, where everyone has a camera-equipped mobile phone, and where abusive journalists endanger the safety of his wife and baby.
“We allowed people privacy, we left them alone. And now we don’t leave each other alone. Now we live in a digital arena, like some Roman Colosseum, with our thumbs up or thumbs down.”
Baldwin said he and his family were constantly photographed.
“They take your picture in line for coffee. They’re trying to get a picture of your baby. Everyone’s got a camera. When they’re done, they tweet it. It’s… unnatural.”
The media, he said, was “superfluous at best and toxic at its worst”. His former employer, TV network NBC, was “full of s***”.
Baldwin, a longtime star of television and the big screen, in addition to Broadway, fronted the UP LATE chat show last October and November but ratings struggled.
He was sacked after allegedly subjecting a photographer to a homophobic slur outside his apartment on the day that his convicted stalker, a Canadian bit-part actress, was jailed.
Baldwin rounded on public life in the US, using the F-word to describe the country’s alleged miserable state of affairs.
“The heart, the arteries of the country are now clogged with hate,” he wrote, condemning the right-wing furor over whether President Barack Obama had been born in the US.
Baldwin, who once harboured political ambitions, said he no longer dreams of running for office in a city where he had wanted to reduce the “shameful” tax burden.
“I just can’t live in New York anymore. Everything I hated about LA I’m beginning to crave,” he wrote.
In Los Angeles, he could live behind a gate, get in a car and have “minimal” interaction with the general public, he wrote.
“I want my newest child to have as normal and decent a life as I can provide. New York doesn’t seem the place for that anymore.”