As much as it would behoove Alec Baldwin to stop publicly commenting on the #MeToo movement, the former 30 Rock star just can’t help himself. In an episode of the forthcoming season of Jerry Seinfeld’s Netflix series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Baldwin makes some awkward jokes about the movement he previously criticized as being a witch hunt.
According to The Daily Beast, Baldwin makes his anxiety about Hollywood’s sexual misconduct reckoning known with some banter about how he’s now afraid to touch his wife. From The Daily Beast:
“Isn’t it a new world between men and women now?” Baldwin, a rare repeat guest on the streaming show, asks Seinfeld as they drive from New York City to their shared childhood hometown of Massapequa, Long Island. “We’ve got to really, really be vigilant. Ever vigilant.”
“I put my arm around my wife the other day and literally my arm, like it was an electric charge,” Baldwin continues, jerking his arm away and making Seinfeld crack up. “I put my arm around my wife’s waist and then went, ‘Oh, I’m sorry! Was that inappropriate?’”
In response, Seinfeld says, in his classic deadpan delivery, “You may be over implementing the new guidelines.”
During a post-Oscars preview of Baldwin’s talk show Sundays with Alec Baldwin, Seinfeld pushed back a bit more forcefully on Baldwin’s fear over the #MeToo movement resulting in their peers “getting knocked down like bowling pins here with this whole sexual misconduct thing.”
“What is amazing is the speed and efficiency of the system of justice that has taken shape so quickly,” Seinfeld told Baldwin. “That part is amazing. The number of people, and who they are, and what they’ve been doing, that doesn’t surprise you or me.”
One of those peers was Baldwin’s friend and collaborator, director James Toback, who was accused by literally hundreds of women of luring them to hotel rooms under the guise that they were auditioning for roles only to end up being allegedly sexually harassed or assaulted.
“I don’t know that Jimmy has done anything criminal. It sounds like many people are saying that he has. That he has assaulted them,” Baldwin told the Los Angeles Times after several women, including actress Selma Blair, came forward to accuse Toback of unwanted advances and lewd behavior during auditions. “If that’s true, that’s news to me. I never had any idea that Jimmy’s appetites took him in that direction.” From the Los Angeles Times:
But now this stuff comes along with Selma Blair. She talks about how she was assaulted by him, how she felt, all these different things. I’ve never known anything about that in my entire life. I never knew of anything where Jimmy assaulted or bullied or pressured. I’ve never heard anything other than that Jimmy was somebody who hit on a lot of women in a very vague way.
What do you mean by “vague way”?
Meaning that he had an appetite for going up to women and saying salacious and provocative things to them and introducing himself with his credentials and so forth and laying that on people to seduce them. I never knew any details of what he did that was assault in nature or rape in nature or criminally actionable. Never, never, never.
It’s clear that Baldwin doesn’t know much about the topic of #MeToo and the circumstances which inspired the sexual misconduct reckoning, but that never seems to stop him from weighing in, and unwittingly telling on himself. Perhaps he should take the advice of the late Anthony Bourdain and “just shut up” before criticizing alleged sexual harassment victims for outing their abusers.
The new season of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee premieres Friday, July 6.