As social media continues to laud the 2016 Presidential Debate parody from Saturday Night Live’s 42nd season premiere, I find myself growing more confused over the fawning of one of its participants.
Actor Alec Baldwin, who portrayed former reality host and current Republican embarrassment Donald Trump in the sketch, is currently on the tail end of massive praise for his near-identical mannerisms and speech inflections of the Commander-in-chief hopeful.
Not that he wasn’t good, folks. In fact, he was pretty spot-on as the Mexican-hating, tax-hiding individual who makes RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Coco Montrese look more amber than tangerine on any given Sunday. Alas, the reason for my confusion mostly stems from the fact that once upon a time, the 30 Rock star was seen as being just as bad, if not worse, than the man he was supposed to be making fun of “live from New York.”
This is the same guy who, just like Trump, has been called out time and time again over his erratic social media messages, his bigoted comments toward both the LGBT and African-American communities (which mostly intertwine with his online postings — more on that momentarily), and last but most certainly, not least, his relationship with his youngest daughter, Ireland Baldwin. In short, what SNL audiences witnessed Saturday night wasn’t just Alec Baldwin playing Donald Trump. What they saw was Alec Baldwin playing Alec Baldwin in a Donald Trump wig.
If you will, allow me to dive deeper into this theory.
For example, beginning in 2013, Baldwin, like Trump, began to display a similar, sickening habit of airing out grievances toward anyone who had the nerve to breathe the same air as him on Twitter. Most of the tweets, which were extremely anti-gay, have since been deleted in an effort to save his now-defunct position on MSNBC’s Up Late With Alec Baldwin, but thanks to sites like Salon, some of his more egregious ramblings are still accessible to anyone with access to the internet.
“I’m going to find you, George Stark, you toxic little queen,” Baldwin stated to the Daily Mail reporter regarding an article about his wife, “and I’m going to f**k you up.”
In another posting; this one, to Garrett Johnson, a former aide of Mitt Romney, Alec quipped about an image of Jackson that showed him on bended knee next to the 2012 presidential hopeful.
“You’re on your knees in that photo. What’s up with that?”
No, Mr. Baldwin, what’s up with you, sir?
His hate didn’t just resound solely on social media, either. During a run-in with shutterbugs outside of his Manhattan apartment in 2013, ABC News reported that the actor attempted to chase down a cameraman after he allegedly got a little too close to the vehicle Baldwin’s family was sitting inside of.
“Get away from my kid with the camera,” he yelled at the pap, as Hilaria begged for him to return to the car. “You know what’s going to happen to you, don’t you? C**ks***ing f*g!”
Incidentally, those events came months after another clash with a paparazzo that was mentioned by the New York Post. On that occasion, Baldwin was said to have referred to an African-American cameraman as a “coon,” a “crackhead,” and a “drug dealer.” When asked about those statements, Baldwin responded that there was no way he could be a racist because he once donated money to a black charity.
Sound familiar, anyone? Let me help you out.
Also, touching back on those homophobic comments, Baldwin’s way of apologizing for that was gravely inappropriate and somehow made him seem even more bigoted than he already was. Rather than express some kind of real sympathy for his actions, he instead, as relayed by the Huffington Post, trotted out his hairdresser, who just so happened to be a gay man, and did the whole “I can’t be homophobic, I have a gay friend!” song-and-dance in front of waiting paparazzi outside of a hair salon.
Hmm, I wonder why that seems familiar. Oh, wait. Trump, more or less, did the same exact thing on the campaign trail after rumors of his own possible homophobia began to hit headlines.
And then, of course, there’s the matter of his children; most specifically, his daughter, Ireland. In his defense, there doesn’t seem to be any kind of strangely incestual connotation when it comes to her, but the relationship they had back in 2007 still raised public concern. In a voicemail that was leaked online and touched on by the Daily Mail, Baldwin demeaned her so crudely, it made you wonder how the universe allowed him the privilege of procreating.
Also, keep in mind that at the time of the recording, Ireland was only 11 years old. She wasn’t even a teenager yet! The following clip is slightly NSFW.
One has to wonder if Lorne Michaels, the all-knowing creator of Saturday Night Live, was pulling some kind of double take-down of both Donald Trump and Alec Baldwin during Saturday’s episode. Whatever his intent, however, I continue to exhibit no amount of surprise over Baldwin’s effortless copy-catting of one of the world’s most ignorant subjects. He’s had a lot of practice, after all.
[Featured Image by Mike Windle & Drew Angerer/Getty Images]