Alec Baldwin Explains His Emmy Absence

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The "30 Rock" actor says it wasn’t because he was peeved that Fox cut his cell phone hacking joke.

There was a lot of speculation as to why Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy nominee, 30 Rock’s Alec Baldwin, didn’t show up for Sunday’s ceremony and it wasn’t because he was peeved at Fox for cutting his cell phone hacking joke.

"I didn't skip the Emmys because of that," Baldwin tells reporters from Tony Bennett's 85th birthday gala in New York, according to People. "I skipped the Emmys because of this – because I wanted to be here."

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Baldwin says he agreed to host the party a year ago and believed he could still attend the awards ceremony. "The Emmys have been in August for the last several years,” he says. “But they moved to this date and I'd already committed to this."

Of course, he could have been there in celluloid spirit, but he revealed earlier this week that he pulled himself from the opening sketch after Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox pulled a joke about the cell phone hacking scandal.

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"[Fox] had asked me to do a sketch for them," Baldwin explains. “I flew out there [to Los Angeles]. I did the sketch, and it was shot. They cut out something that I thought was the funniest part. I guess it was offensive to them."

The company was sensitive about the controversy that helped take down NewsCorp’s News of the World newspaper in the UK earlier this year. Fox later stated that it didn’t want to make light of the hacking scandal.

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Baldwin tweeted on Sunday, “I think it would have made them look better. A little." A couple hours later, the actor had a change of heart, kind of.

“I understand NewsCorp killing that joke,” Baldwin tweeted. “If I were enmeshed in a scandal where I hacked phones of families of innocent crime victims purely 4 profit, I'd want that 2 go away, 2.”

The Lead Actor in a Comedy Series statue ultimately went to The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons.

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