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James Franco and other celebs who just can't stand criticism

James Franco does not take criticism of his work lightly. Currently starring in Of Mice and Men on Broadway, the actor was quite displeased with the review New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley gave the revival. Though Brantley’s assessment was not excessively negative — he even complimented Franco’s talent at one point — the actor posted an incensed response to the review on Instagram, calling the critic “a little bitch.” The post has since been deleted.

Brantley responded to the criticism much more diplomatically than Franco. “I like Franco’s work on film a lot, and he didn’t disgrace himself on stage,” the writer told the New York Observer. “I hope he returns to Broadway some day. And of course he’s entitled to say whatever he likes about me, as long as it’s not libelous, and somehow I don’t think ‘little bitch’ qualifies.”

Franco is hardly the first celebrity to lash out over hurt feelings and bad reviews. Last year, Brantley was the target of another famous actor appearing on Broadway, Alec Baldwin. The NYT critic panned his show, a revival of Orphans, and Baldwin shot back with a bitter essay on the state of modern theater on The Huffington Post. READ FULL STORY

PopWatch Quiz: Alec Baldwin quote or 'SVU' line?

Alec Baldwin popped up on Wednesday’s episode of Law & Order: SVU as hard-boiled newspaperman Jimmy MacArthur, who has a passion for exposing the truth, a nose for conspiracies, and takes pleasure in sticking it to the corrupt members of New York’s upper echelon.

Sound familiar? Baldwin’s exchanges with star Mariska Hargitay (who made her directorial debut with this episode entitled “Criminal Stories”) were as scene-chewingly over-the-top as you might expect — not unlike Baldwin, who has been known to possess a flair for stirring up controversy himself.

Can you differentiate Jimmy Mac’s SVU lines from the words of the Golden Globe-winning firebrand actor? Test your Baldwin barometer now! READ FULL STORY

Alec Baldwin vows to quit public life, adds Rachel Maddow to ever-growing enemies list

TMZ, the New York Post, and their ilk have had a lot of fun with Alec Baldwin over the years. A lot of fun. But the embattled former 30 Rock star has had enough, he says in a new New York Magazine cover story: he’s quitting public life. Just think how much the tabloids are going to be missing: They don’t have Alec Baldwin to kick around any more.

The last year has been rough on Baldwin professionally. Privately, it’s been a time of great joy, as he and his wife, Hilaria, welcomed a baby daughter. But even that blessing has been marred by several highly-publicized incidents with paparazzi whom Baldwin says have crossed the line and instigated confrontations. One of those confrontations resulted in accusations that Baldwin had uttered a gay pejorative, leading to his being branded a homophobe by several high-profile out media personalities. As a result, his newly-launched MSNBC talk show, in hindsight, was doomed to failure. Throw in his less momentous but even more fascinating Broadway pissing match with the formerly famous Shia LaBeouf, and Baldwin has had enough. In a 5,284-word confession that is half apology, half Nixonian diatribe, Baldwin settles old scores, makes new enemies, and announces that he’s probably done with New York. “There’s been a shift in my life,” he says. “And it’s caused me to step back and say, This is happening for a reason.”

On the way out the door, he slams a multitude of famous people for incompetence, phoniness, or outright stupidity. If Baldwin is sincere in his intention to retire from the spotlight — at least in the sense of participating in public discourse, both important and frivolous — his final blast was a corker. But I suspect his growing list of enemies will respond, denying him the final word.

1. Rachel Maddow
What Baldwin said: “Another [MSNBC employee] told me, regarding the ‘toxic little queen’ comment, that Rachel Maddow was the prime mover in my firing, as she was aghast that I had been hired and viewed me as equivalent to Mel Gibson. Another source told me, ‘You know who’s going to get you fired, don’t you? Rachel. Phil will do whatever Rachel tells him to do.’ I think Rachel Maddow is quite good at what she does. I also think she’s a phony who doesn’t have the same passion for the truth off-camera that she seems to have on the air.” READ FULL STORY

Jesse Tyler Ferguson weighs in on Alec Baldwin controversy

You may recall that Modern Family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson professed his crush on 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin in a 2010 video championing the legalization of gay marriage in New York, and Baldwin responded with a video, also for FightBackPac.com, showing his support (“Because no one tells a New Yorker that they can’t marry Jesse Tyler Ferguson”). So how does Ferguson feel about Baldwin’s recent headline-grabbing outburst in which he allegedly called a photographer a “c–ksucking f-g” (or a “c–ksucking fathead,” as Baldwin later claimed)?

“Whether or not he said it or not, it [has] brought to attention that that’s not to be said. [C–ksucker is] not a good word. That’s a no-no word,” Ferguson tells Entertainment Weekly editor Jess Cagle in an interview that will air Thursday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. ET during The Editor’s Hour on EW Radio (SiriusXM 105). “I have met him several times, and he’s completely lovely, and certainly I know he’s a supporter of marriage equality, so I was kind of confused by it all,” Ferguson says. “But I think he’s a very talented actor, and I feel for him going though something that seems a little rough right now.” Listen to the clip below.


Alec Baldwin defended by daughter (yes, that one!)

Alec Baldwin has made one thing very clear: The media should leave his family alone! But now his daughter Ireland, who was once infamously the target of Baldwin’s anger, is jumping into her father’s media controversy.

In a series of tweets over the last 24 hours, Ireland defended her dad against accusations that he’s something of a homophobic rage-monster after a couple of his outbursts resulted in widespread criticism and MSNBC yanking his talk show Up Late for at least two weeks.

The 18-year-old Ireland wrote: “My dad is far from a homophobe or a racist …. For someone who has battled with anger management issues, my dad has grown tremendously … Sometimes we let our tempers get the best of us. Tempers are like wildfires. Something or someone can easily fuel the fire … Paparazzi can bring out many confined feelings of anger and spite out of anyone… My point being, what my dad said was WRONG. What my dad felt WASN’T…. From what you’ve read and from what media has been shoved down your throats, he has a kind heart. … My dad has an INFANT CHILD to protect…Boundaries have to be made. Paparazzi have jobs to do, but some of them jeopardize people’s lives and cross a line. … Now, let’s all quit acting like children. Let my dad be and let him have his room to learn and enjoy his family… As someone very wise once said, ‘Be peaceful and love everyone.'”

Earlier this weekend, Baldwin penned a column for The Huffington Post defending his recent actions and asked the media to “respect the privacy of my wife and family.” Yet Ireland publicly defending her father’s temperament cannot help but recall what was arguably the actor’s most infamous outburst — when he left a 2007 voicemail message on his then-11-year-old daughter’s voicemail calling her a “rude, thoughtless little pig” during Baldwin’s custody fight with ex-wife Kim Basinger. It’s an incident that Ireland, now a model, has said she would like to be forgotten.

Jimmy Fallon and Alec Baldwin starred in a cop show in the '80s -- VIDEO

Talk about a spit-take.

Alec Baldwin stopped by Monday night’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and the duo revealed some “found footage” of their late, questionably great ’80s cop sitcom, Point Pleasant Police Department.

“We get into a lot of, you know, messy situations,” Baldwin teased as Fallon rolled the clip.

And Baldwin’s right, though the two don’t solve any crimes. Instead, they snack — a lot — and, well, let’s just say they get into each other’s faces. Perhaps they were simply trying to enunciate?

Check out the clips below. READ FULL STORY

Alec Baldwin scorches homegrown paparazzi in East Hampton hamlet

Alec Baldwin has a long complicated history with photographers, especially those paparazzi who lurk around his apartment in Manhattan. But the former 30 Rock star is finding that there is no place safe from the shutterbugs, not even in his bucolic refuge of Amagansett on the eastern tip of Long Island, where he’s kept a home for more than 20 years. In a recent letter to the editor of the East Hampton Star, Baldwin complained that the area isn’t what it used to be, in part because of a new breed of home-grown paparazzi that have sprouted up to document and monetize the presence of celebrities. One “has marauded up and down the village’s Main Street in search of photos of my wife and/or our newborn child,” Baldwin wrote. He “secrets himself behind a tree or parked car, clicking away, hoping to catch someone in mid-bite or otherwise behaving in a way that pretty much everyone else going in or out of Mary’s Marvelous behaves.” READ FULL STORY

Alec Baldwin gets touchy with his wife -- in yoga video

Yoga Journal lists 38 benefits of regular yoga practice — including improved flexibility, increased strength, and better lymph drainage (which, eww).

Nowhere on the list is “a decreased desire to write expletive-filled homophobic tweets” — but perhaps Alec Baldwin will discover that as a side perk.

As Vanity Fair revealed yesterday, Baldwin has a cameo in Fit Mommy-to-Be Prenatal Yoga, an upcoming fitness DVD starring his wife Hilaria. (She gave birth to their daughter, Carmen Gabriela, in August.) “I did most of my yoga on my own, but he definitely helped me out,” the yogi explained to VF. “Aches and pains are a normal part of pregnancy, and he was really great at helping me alleviate them through yoga stretches.”

He’s also really great at staring stoically before grunting an awkward response to his wife’s “thank you.” Watch below; you might even learn something!


'South Park' spoofs Alec Baldwin's trouble with Twitter -- NSFW VIDEO

Last night, South Park‘s season 17 premiere did what the show does best: It made fun of a high-profile celebrity in a very NSFW way. The celeb in the hot seat? Alec Baldwin.

While on the set of a commercial, “Baldwin” reveals that he sometimes “accidentally tweets things that are homophobic.” But because he doesn’t think that way and only types that way (his “thumbs are homophobic,” he says), he chops off those thumbs. So how does he communicate with the rest of the world? By joining a new form of social media (with a very, er, interesting name) that broadcasts your every thought to all your followers. And let’s just say, Baldwin’s every thought is not about his sugar-free diet or his new baby daughter.

Watch the very NSFW clip below:

Shia LaBeouf grievance resolved with producers of Broadway's 'Orphans'

Shia LaBeouf battled creepy neighbors (Disturbia), Prohibition baddies (Lawless) and a messload of Transformers on film, but the Great White Way seemed to defeat him before he even stepped onstage.

His early exit from the Broadway revival of the three-hander drama Orphans (which our Thom Geier gave an A- this spring) over “creative differences,” stemming from the tension between him and co-star Alec Baldwin, which was well-documented after the fact and made lots of headlines but couldn’t save the show from closing mere weeks after opening with mixed reviews. (Interestingly, it was the role neither Baldwin nor LaBeouf played that got the most attention, played by Tony nominee Tom Sturridge, who was also making his Broadway debut.)

But after a grievance filed by LaBeouf to Actors’ Equity Association, producers Fred Zollo and Robert Cole released a statement today saying the matter has been resolved. Read the statement below:

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