Alec Baldwin taking a break from Twitter after comments about settlements with Weinstein

Alec Baldwin has gotten himself in trouble again. In an interview with PBS News Hour, Baldwin admits everyone had heard allegations about Harvey Weinstein raping Rose McGowan. Asked why no one came forward, Baldwin suggested the problem was that women had agreed to take settlements. That was taken as victim blaming by some of Weinstein’s other victims and Baldwin has now announced he’ll be taking a break from Twitter.

This all started with Baldwin trying to sell his new book, a Trump parody titled “You can’t spell American without me.” Baldwin gave an interview to PBS News Hour Friday about the book but during the interview, he was asked about allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Specifically, what did he know about Weinstein prior to the flood of allegations last month?

“I didn’t know anything,” Baldwin said. He continued, “But I know that when you talked about Harvey Weinstein in the business for example for decades you knew that he was highly intrusive in the process of making films. His nickname was Harvey Scissorhands and he was very intrusive in the path of the directors who worked for him.

“Number two, you knew that he was a very intense guy, a very bullying guy and was shouting and screaming at people and exhorting him when he didn’t get his way. And last but not least you heard the rumor that he raped Rose McGowan. You heard that over and over. We’ve heard that for decades and nothing was done.”

Asked why people who heard these rumors didn’t say or do anything, Baldwin replied, “Well 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.”

Baldwin then cited a NY Times article about the settlements accepted by several women in the Weinstein case saying, “When women take money and are silenced by that money, even though they took the money and were silenced because they were told, beyond the money, it was the right thing for them to do—keep quiet, don’t make too many waves, it’s going to hurt your career. When they do it nonetheless, does it set back the cause of change? That’s an issue I think.”

PBS put out an excerpt of this interview on Twitter which caught the eye of actresses Rose McGowan and Asia Argento, both of whom have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. They reacted to Baldwin’s statements:

Baldwin then announced he was suspending his Twitter activity on his personal account:

Asia Argento did not seem mollified by this at all:

My take on this is that there probably is a way to parse Baldwin’s comments that isn’t entirely offensive and dumb. But, honestly, why would I even try? Why be generous to a guy who is never generous to his political opponents. Baldwin was there to sell his Trump-bashing book. Like Harvey Weinstein, he seems to think that being an outspoken left-winger will insulate him from any criticism. It’s actually refreshing to see guys like this get a comeuppance from people on their own side of the aisle for a change.

Here’s the interview with Baldwin:

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