Alec Baldwin admits to 'treating women in a very sexist way'

'I’ve bullied women. I’ve overlooked women. I’ve underestimated women,' the actor says

Emily Shugerman
New York
Friday 03 November 2017 21:22
Actor Alec Baldwin speaks at the Hamptons International Film Festival
Actor Alec Baldwin speaks at the Hamptons International Film Festival

Actor Alec Baldwin has admitted to “bullying” women, in the midst of a national conversation about gendered harassment in Hollywood.

Mr Baldwin spoke out at a Paley Center for Media luncheon held in his honour. His speech comes amid weeks of discussion about sexual harassment, sexual assault and gender-based discrimination in Hollywood.

Mr Baldwin, who has been dogged by reports of a bad temper throughout his career, admitted to having “treated women in a very sexist way”.

“I’ve bullied women. I’ve overlooked women. I’ve underestimated women,” he said. “Not as a rule. From time to time, I’ve done what a lot of men do, which is … when you don’t treat women the same way you treat men. You don’t. I’m from a generation where you really don’t and I’d like that to change.”

The 59-year-old actor came under fire just last week, when he told a female journalist to “stick to divorces and plastic surgery”.

“I would send you an email, on any subject, if you weren’t such a dishonest, awful writer,” Mr Baldwin wrote in response to reporter Kayla Cobb’s request for comment.

Ms Cobb had written an article revisiting a movie Mr Baldwin had made with director James Toback, who has been accused of sexual harassment by more than 300 women. Mr Toback has denied the allegations.

Mr Baldwin initially declined to comment on the Toback allegations, but later told the Los Angeles Times that his relationship with the director had been “strictly business”.

"I never knew any details of what he did that was assault in nature or rape in nature or criminally actionable,” he told the Times, while admitting that the director had “an appetite for going up to women and saying salacious and provocative things to them”.

Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up
Trump's 100 Days: Alec Baldwin's best bits on Saturday Night Live

Allegations against Mr Toback, and other Hollywood bigwigs, poured out this month in the wake of a bombshell New York Times report on sexual harassment allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein. Mr Baldwin addressed the surge of reports in his speech on Thursday.

“I knew of certain things, that there were rumours of things happening to people,” he said, “but I didn’t necessarily know the scope.”

He added: “It’s been a very eye-opening experience for me personally. We’ve got to be vigilant in a new way to make sure that everybody is comfortable and that we get the job done together that we’re there to do.”

Mr Baldwin was honoured on Thursday for his acting career, and for his support of the Paley Center’s educational initiatives. Mr Baldwin is known for his work in movies such as “The Aviator” and “The Descendants,” and TV shows such as “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live”.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in