I’m not the only one who noticed the difference in response and consequences when two celebrities got caught being offensive recently. Paula Deen admitted using racial terms. Alex Baldwin tweeted a violent, homophobic rant. Deen has been dropped by sponsors and editors. Baldwin has GLAAD defending him.
In short, Paula Deen got caught being offensive without a license. Baldwin, it seems, got one from somewhere. (The linked article above does a good job of clarifying, comparing, and discussing both incidents.)
Now it appears that Baldwin is hanging up Twitter. It’s probably for the best, but his explanation suggests that we won’t be hearing the last of his infamous temper:
“I really learned a lesson at the funeral. I said to myself, ‘This is all a waste of time.’ Meaning it’s fun sometimes, but less and less, and less. It’s just another chink in your armor for people to come and kill you. I stopped and said to myself, ‘I’m going to try where I just don’t do this anymore.’ “
In other words, it’s not his temper or his mouth (or fingers) that’s the problem. It’s the channel he used. Somehow it’s Twitter’s fault he publicly broadcast words that, if he were Paula Deen, would have cost him a great deal of income.
It makes me wonder what he’s going to find to blame the next time he blows up. “I’m going to give up talking to newspapers now.” “I’m going to give up flying on airplanes.” “I’m going to stop leaving voice messages. These are just chinks in your armor for people to attack you.” Alec, you’ve got weaknesses in your armor, but it’s not what you think. In the tech support, we refer to this as a PEBKAC issue: Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair.