[Warning: minor spoilers ahead for Wednesday’s episode of Law & Order: SVU.]
Alec Baldwin has returned to NBC – for one night anyway.
The 30 Rock alum and former MSNBC host headed over to Law & Order: SVU Wednesday to play an aggressive New York Ledger columnist who publishes inflammatory articles about a rape case being investigated by the SVU team. (See a clip above.)
The episode sees columnist Jimmy MacArthur (Baldwin) shadow Sgt. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) for a profile, only to end up calling B.S. on the story told by a rape victim. Though the victim was actually raped, her initial claims that it was motivated by her status as a Muslim was a lie, causing MacArthur to declare her story a “hoax” on the front page of his paper.
Naturally, Baldwin’s character butts heads with Benson, affording him the opportunity for a few racy one liners that don’t put his character in the best light. After the victim claims her attackers called her a “Muslim bitch” and told her to “go back to India,” Baldwin’s character cries foul, doubting men that would commit such a crime would know there were Muslims living in India.
“Mooks like that never attack attractive women,” Baldwin’s MacArthur says. “They pummel ‘towel heads’ behind a dumpster.” Asked to reveal a source to her, Baldwin suggest Benson get a pen and proceeds to spell an expletive.
Without giving too much away, MacArthur — who at one point is interviewed by Katie Couric in a brief cameo– partially redeems himself in the end.
The actor has famously butted heads with the media. In the months leading up to the essay, he got in hot water for calling a Daily Mail reporter a “toxic little queen” after the journalist accused Baldwin’s wife of tweeting during James Gandolfini‘s funeral. In November, he allegedly directed homophobic slurs at a photographer. After that incident, MSNBC suspended Baldwin’s Friday night talk show, Up Late With Alec Baldwin. It never returned to air and was pulled from the schedule Nov. 26.
Baldwin previously received a writing credit for the 1998 episode of Law & Order “Tabloid,” which was partially inspired by his run-ins with the media.