Alec Baldwin vowed to take a hiatus from Twitter on Saturday – but not before he got into a harsh exchange with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and his girlfriend, actress Asia Argento, over the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
The actor, who appeared once again on Saturday Night Live’s cold open to impersonate President Donald Trump amid the latest controversy, was criticized by Argento and Bourdain for implying that one of Weinstein’s alleged rape victims, Rose McGowan, was wrong to accept a financial settlement rather than press criminal charges because it ‘delayed justice’.
Argento was one of the first women to come forward in an interview with The New Yorker magazine and accuse Weinstein of orally raping her.
Bourdain is the host of the popular CNN travel and food show Parts Unknown.
Alec Baldwin (seen left with wife Hilaria) vowed to take a hiatus from Twitter on Saturday – but not before he got into a harsh exchange with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and his girlfriend, actress Asia Argento (right), over the Harvey Weinstein scandal
Baldwin was criticized by Argento and Bourdain for implying that one of Weinstein’s alleged rape victims, Rose McGowan (seen above on October 27 in Detroit), was wrong to accept a financial settlement rather than press criminal charges because it ‘delayed justice’
Baldwin has also been criticized for acknowledging that many in Hollywood had heard rumors for decades about Weinstein’s alleged rape of McGowan. Baldwin and Weinstein are seen in this 2007 file photo
‘Hey @AlecBaldwin you’re either a complete moron or providing cover for your pals and saving your own rep. Maybe all three,’ Argento tweeted on Saturday.
In an interview with PBS on Friday, Baldwin, 59, admitted hearing a ‘rumor’ McGowan had been raped by Weinstein but doing nothing about it along with the rest of Hollywood.
He said it was ‘for’ McGowan to prosecute it and later said it was an ‘issue’ that victims of sexual harassment were sometimes silenced by cash settlements because it thwarted the course of justice.
‘You heard the rumor that he raped Rose McGowan. You heard that over and over. We have heard that for decades.
On Friday, Baldwin, 59, said it was down to McGowan to pursue her case against Weinstein and admitted he and others heard rumors about the mogul’s alleged attack on her for ‘decades’ but nothing was done to address it
Rose McGowan responded to his interview furiously saying it was proof ‘everyone knew’ and ‘no one cared’ that she had been raped
‘But what happened was that Rose McGowan took a payment of $100,000 and settled her case with him. And it was for Rose McGowan to prosecute that case,’ he said.
McGowan, who has led an unrelenting commentary on the Weinstein sexual assault scandal since it erupted last month, responded furiously to his remarks.
‘Told you everyone knew. No one cared. Men ran the show. Women toed the line. No more,’ she said.
Announcing his Twitter hiatus, Baldwin said it was ‘never his intention’ to ‘blame the victim’ and said that his ‘heart goes out’ to anyone affected by sexual harassment.
Explaining why no one else spoke up, he said it was because it remained an unproven rumor and argued that ‘everyone’ in every type of industry gives colleagues and emoloyers ‘the benefit of the doubt’.
After Argento’s tweet, Baldwin responded on the Twitter account he uses for his foundation.
Argento was one of the first women to come forward in an interview with The New Yorker magazine and accuse Weinstein of orally raping her
Bourdain is the host of the popular CNN travel and food show Parts Unknown
‘If you paint every man with the same brush, you’re gonna run out of paint or men,’ Baldwin responded to Argento.
Bourdain came to his girlfriend’s defense, tweeting to Baldwin: ‘You are really too dumb to pour piss out of a boot.’
Baldwin fired back at Bourdain, tweeting: ‘You should stick to eating worms and keep your mouth shut.’
Baldwin then blocked both Bourdain and Argento. He called the star chef ‘a self-seeking liar’.
Argento tweeted: ‘I’ve been blocked on Twitter by Alec Baldwin. I wear this medal with pride.’
Earlier on Saturday, when Baldwin announced he would refrain from tweeting in response to the backlash over his comments about McGowan and Weinstein, Argento tweeted: ‘So Alec Baldwin is taking a hiatus from Twitter to meditate about his words on Rose McGowan and gender equality. We won’t miss you bully boy.’
Baldwin addressed the scandal on Twitter on Saturday afternoon and signed off from social media
The ‘bully boy’ reference was from comments Baldwin made on Thursday when he acknowledged bullying and mistreating women.
Baldwin made the comments while receiving an award from The Paley Center for Media on Thursday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Argento’s claims were published last month in a New Yorker exposé which came within hours of a separate, equally shocking piece, by The New York Times which included allegations against Weinstein by Hollywood darlings Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie.
In her comments to The New Yorker, Italian-born Argento, 42, told how Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her after luring her to an empty room at the Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc in the South of France in 1997.
Nearly two weeks after the New Yorker article, McGowan went public with her own rape allegations against Weinstein.
McGowan accepted $100,000 from Weinstein in 1997 after an alleged encounter in hotel room.
It was part of an agreement that the case would not be prosecuted further but was not an admission of guilt on Weinstein’s part, according to The New York Times which viewed a legal document detailing the agreement.
After a handful of women aired claims that Weinstein had either harassed or raped them at the start of October, McGowan claimed on Twitter that she had been raped by ‘HW’.
She did not use his name but said she told Amazon studio head Roy Price about the attack and said nothing was done to help her.
Amidst the controversy, Baldwin appeared on Saturday Night Live’s cold open to reprise his portrayal of President Donald Trump. He is seen above alongside SNL cast member Alex Moffat, who is playing former campaign chairman Paul Manafort
Price has been fired by Amazon in light of separate claims he sexually harassed a lesbian TV producer.
On Saturday, McGowan’s fans supported her criticism of Baldwin and his remarks.
‘Finds a way to blame women. Not rapist,’ said one.
‘Leave it to Alec Baldwin to perpetuate the victim blaming. Now it’s Rose McGowan’s fault that Harvey Weinstein kept assaulting women.’
‘The money is NOT the reason they don’t speak out and Alec Baldwin is victim blaming,’ another quipped.
Baldwin’s fans defended him, saying his comments were not aimed at the victims and that he was offering a wider commentary on the mere existence of such cash settlements as those he described.
‘Mr Baldwin is not blaming anyone. He’s pointing out that women are cornered to accept these settlements,’ said one.
Weinstein is hiding out in Arizona where he may be arrested any day and extradited to New York to face charges.
The NYPD announced this week that it believed it had credible and sufficient evidence to issue a warrant for his arrest.
He is also being investigated in London and Los Angeles over separate sexual assault and harassment claims.
The exposure of Weinstein by The New York Times and New Yorker last month has led to an avalanche of accusations against other men across Hollywood and in other industries.