Alec Baldwin announced Saturday he was taking a break from his personal Twitter account after criticism over his comments about the Harvey Weinstein sex harassment scandal. But the war of words quickly switched over to his other Twitter account for his Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation and the barbs were flying again.
The renewed feud involved Italian actress Asia Argento, who ended up being blocked by Baldwin on his foundation Twitter account, and Argento’s boyfriend, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who was also blocked by Baldwin.
The craziness started after Baldwin explained Saturday afternoon: “It is [with] some degree of sadness that I will suspend posting ... in the current climate. It was never my intent to blame the victim.”
Baldwin came under fire after he said in an interview on the PBS News Hour Friday that he had heard rumors that Weinstein had allegedly raped actress Rose McGowan “for decades.” Asked why nothing was done, Baldwin responded: “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.” While Baldwin said settlements were understandable, “does it set back the cause of change?” he asked. “That’s an issue, I think.”
Patricia Arquette snapped that women likely didn’t have a “hope in hell” of succeeding in a court case against the producer, and Argento — who has also accused Weinstein of sexual assault — criticized Baldwin for “mansplaining” sexual harassment.
Baldwin tweeted Saturday as he announced his Twitter break: “I simply posited that the settlement of such cases certainly delayed justice. My heart goes out to all such victims. My goal is to do better in all things related to gender equality. Au revoir.”
Argento couldn’t have been happier that Baldwin was going to shut up. “We won’t miss you, bully boy,” she tweeted in response. Baldwin answered that Argento would “run out of paint or men” if she painted every man with the same brush.
After Bourdain defended Argento, Baldwin tweeted Bourdain — and Argento (from his foundation Twitter account because he was taking a break from his personal account): “You should stick to eating worms and keep your mouth shut.” Baldwin ending up blocking both of them, quipping, “So many self-seeking liars to block, so little time ...”
Baldwin said in his PBS interview that Weinstein had a reputation as a bully and a screamer with film directors. As for the “rumor that he raped Rose McGowan, you heard that over and over ... and nothing was done,” he said.
McGowan responded Saturday: “Told you everyone knew. No one cared. Men ran the show. Women toed the line. No more.”
Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment or assault by scores of women after reports first surfaced in The New York Times and the New Yorker. Police are investigating accusations in London, and the New York City Police Department is gathering evidence for a possible arrest of Weinstein following a rape allegation by actress Paz de la Huerta, officials announced Friday.
Since the complaints against Weinstein, film director James Toback, actors Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Jeremy Piven and others have also been accused of sexual harassment.
Baldwin admitted regretfully on Thursday at a lunch in his honor at the Paley Center for Media in Manhattan: “I certainly have treated women in a very sexist way. I’ve bullied women. I’ve overlooked women. I’ve underestimated women.”
Baldwin also took heat last week after he tweeted to a female journalist to “stick to divorces and plastic surgery.” He was angry about being mentioned in her article about director James Toback, who has also been accused of harassment.