MSNBC has suspended Up Late with Alec Baldwin for two weeks following the host's use of homophobic slurs.
Baldwin responded to the action with an apology posted to the MSNBC website
"I would like to address the comments I made this past week," Baldwin wrote. "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."
On Saturday, Baldwin penned a lengthy column on Huffington Post
, insisting that he never used an anti-gay slur against a photographer.
" … I never used the word f****t in the tape recording offered as evidence against me. What word is said right after the other choice word I use is unclear. But I can assure you, with complete confidence, that a direct homophobic slur (or indirect one for that matter) is not spoken," he wrote. " … My friends who happen to be gay are baffled by this. They see me as one who has recently fought for marriage equality and has been a supporter of gay rights for many years."
He also said that he is unsure if his show will come back at all after the suspension.
"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 ended with a plea to leave his wife and children alone.
"Please respect the privacy of my wife and family. If you have an opinion of me, then express it. Think what you like. But I ask that my wife, who I care about more than words can say, and both my children, be left out of this," he wrote.