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Where does public opinion sit in the case against Alec Baldwin? From where I sit, not well. When these cases hit the headlines, it brings a reality to the tragedy of murder but also the tragedy of an ego-dominated culture.
In the ultimate display of hubris, Alec Baldwin sat down with George Stephanopoulos to discuss the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was shot to death by a gun Baldwin was pointing at her on the set; of their movie “Rust.”
This interview was disturbing for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, Baldwin, who wielded the murder weapon, claims that he didn’t fire the gun and that it went off on its own, something that gun experts have refuted. It seemed to many that the main objective of the interview was to clear his name. Perhaps, to garner sympathy. Alec spent a good deal of time throwing out unsubstantiated details. It appeared to be a juvenile attempt to manipulate public perception for many who watched. Maybe at the direction of media experts, his appearance seemed scripted. Most saw a man putting himself first, to the detriment of a grieving family who lost both a wife and mother.
Alec wanting to clear his name could be understandable if not relatable. In our current “look at me” world, he could believe he is the important character in the story. What many saw as a lack of empathy on his part should be noted. The larger problem is this trait is an indicator part of a larger psychological profile. These things must be considered by those taking an interest in this story. These are the things that the mainstream media won’t report.
Alec is a known hothead with verbal attacks and physical violence history. But, you might ask yourself, how is nobody questioning this? Is there a celebrity double standard? If a regular person with a violent history held the murder weapon, would they be looked at in a much more critical light? For example, in 1995, Alec famously punched paparazzo Alan Zanger, with Zanger later winning a civil case against the actor. In 2011, Baldwin had been kicked off an American Airlines flight for noncompliance, blaming the crew for singling him out from other passengers. Other incidents of violence took place over the years, with an arrest in 2014. Lest we forget the infamous leaked voicemail where he called his prepubescent daughter a “rude, little pig.”
The bigger problem with the interview for me personally was Alec’s lack of accountability. He was a producer on the film, after all. As a therapist who also is an actress, I’ve been called in for films, shows, and scriptwriting as an expert professional in how real-world violent situations should be portrayed for accuracy. Certain measures should have been in place, and the blatant lack of ownership is mind-boggling. There should be the same levels of protocol, responsibility, and accountability whether you are making $20 or $20 million, and giving this man an open mic to throw everyone else under the bus is shameful. We need to hold everyone (yes, even celebrities) to the same standard, but people are scared to call out powerful people, and because of that, people like Alec abuse their power.
Alexa Servodidio is a Licensed Social Worker/Psychotherapist, author, and sought-after TV host of the syndicated “The Alexa Show.” Follow Alexa on social media @AskAlexatherapy.
Articles are Op-Ed and are never a replacement for Medical advice or Professional Guidance