Alec Baldwin opened up on Twitter this morning about the restrictions NBC executives have been putting on the political commentary in “Saturday Night Live.” The “30 Rock” actor, who isn’t a permanent “SNL” cast member but has been receiving critical acclaim for his portrayal of President-elect Donald Trump on the sketch comedy over the past few weeks, said that NBC “kill” any effort by the “SNL” staff to endorse Hillary Clinton.
Baldwin revealed this in response to a Twitter rant by Daniel D’Addario, a #Television critic for Time magazine, against “Saturday Night Live” and the team behind it following the first episode to air after the election results came in and shocked the nation. The episode’s cold open, usually reserved for a strong sketch to end on a big enough laugh to warrant a fourth wall-breaking, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!” was instead this week used for a more solemn and serious segment. It featured Kate McKinnon in character as Hillary Clinton sitting at a piano performing “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. At the end of the sketch, she said, “I’m not giving up, and neither should you.”
Time critic D’Addario responded to the episode in epic Twitter rant
This provoked the ire of D’Addario, who launched into a series of angry, anti-“SNL” tweets throughout the broadcast, which eventually got the attention of frequent “SNL” guest host Alec Baldwin. First, D’Addario urged his followers to “compare/contrast” two sketches from the episode with contradicting viewpoints: “the mawkish anti-Trump cold open” and “the Weekend Update joke in which Che says both candidates were SO unlikeable.” D’Addario claimed that the former was less the opinion of “SNL” and more what “SNL” “knew its viewers would want,” and that the latter was “a snap back to access-preserving false equivalency.”
After the episode ended, D’Addario tweeted that “Saturday Night Live was... something,” with a link to him Time review online. He followed it with a short and sweet post suggesting that “SNL” requires “an actual point of view,” which is what first irritated Baldwin, who was frustrated that a TV critic was ignorant to the fact that the staff are not allowed a point of view by the network. D’Addario disagreed with what he considered to be a “weirdly nasty joke” featured on the episode. The joke was “about Colin Kaepernick choosing not to vote,” and he seemed to disagree not only with the content of the joke, but also the fact that it was delivered by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, also played by Kate McKinnon.
Baldwin, despite no official “SNL” affiliation, jumped to its defence
D’Addario ended his rant with a tweet that makes it appear his personal feud with “SNL” goes back a whole year, tweeting, “This show chose at every turn to display about as little courage or decisiveness as possible, beginning with having Trump host last Nov,” though he has taken until now to voice it in such an open, aggressive way. Baldwin retaliated with a series of short, sharp tweets directed at D’Addario to set him straight about his misconceptions. “How naive you are,” he began. Then the actor tweeted, “SNL tell people who to vote for?” He assured D’Addario that the thought does in fact “cross their mind,” but that “NBC execs kill that.”
After Baldwin’s response, D’Addario returned to Twitter but failed to defend himself. Baldwin tweeted, “You write about television, yet you know so little about how it really works,” to which D’Addario simply replied, “Oh my god.” Looks to me like Baldwin set him straight. #American Election #Celebrities