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How Likable Is Alec Baldwin After His ‘New York Magazine’ Confessional?
Celebrities like talking about themselves. Luckily, we like to listen. We take on the gamut of recent confessionals, from the sickeningly self-involved to the extremely endearing.
By calling some one "An F to M tranny" in the first few paragraphs of his mea culpa I-am-not-a-homophobe New York Magazine tell-all, Alec Baldwin is essentially showing up to a Civil Rights rally in black face. It’s a horrible PR move, and just a horrible person move in general.
Baldwin’s article is premised on his assertion that, "I've had a relatively charmed life"—no duh. Baldwin is inexplicably able to utter homophobic slurs and still get acting parts, and is simultaneously given the opportunity to write long, windy articles for reputable magazines that say absolutely nothing.
While Baldwin is an unconvincing gay rights activist, he seems to have an ulterior motive in writing this article. Namely, shit talking everyone he’s ever worked with. Baldwin starts by offering his take on his professional feud with Shia LaBeouf—a catfight that immediately comes across as the ultimate battle of the terminally un self-aware. He fails to grasp the hypocrisy in deriding LaBeouf’s sense of entitlement and privilege in a piece that’s fueled by his own. Baldwin proceeds to take down the entire MSNBC line up, even mocking Phil Griffin, the head of MSNBC (and his former employer). Real classy.
Not only is Baldwin unapologetic throughout his article, insisting on his record of gay rights and charity work—he’s also unwilling to own up to his mistakes, going so far as to deny basic facts. He whines, "But—I’m sorry, I can’t let go of this—do people really, really believe that, when I shouted at that guy, I called him a “faggot” on-camera?" As some one who used a debatably derogatory term towards transgendered people in a published article while trying to prove he's not a homophobe…yea, we kind of do.
The only silver lining of this piece is when Baldwin claims that this will be his last time speaking to a major media outlet, and that, "I probably have to move out of New York." We're definitely feeling this media blackout/voluntary hermitage…maybe Baldwin can even get Bieber on board?
Likability Points Gained: 0/10. In this piece, Baldwin raises the bar of his own un-likability to Marnie-on-Girls levels. Meanwhile, the show business colleagues who Baldwin attacked seemed to realize that an angry retort would simply be giving Baldwin the attention he so clearly needs, along with free press he doesn't deserve. Rachel Maddow, who Baldwin called out in the article as a dweeb and a phony, simply responded, "I have never met Mr. Baldwin, either on-camera or off-camera." That's gotta hurt.
In his own New York Magazine tell-all, Joe Jonas narrated his journey from pastor's kid to boy band phenomenon. The best part of this piece is the description of The Jonas Brothers’ Disney-fication, an experience that sounds just as surreal, disorienting, and hilarious as you’d imagine. As cogs in the Disney machine, Joe and his brothers went from playing local gigs to selling out arenas in the blink of an eye. But it turns out that producing hastily made content for hoards of rabid tweens comes at a terrible price, especially for a true artiste like Joe Jonas. The brothers were bombarded with insane amounts of media training and forced to surrender their creative autonomy and conform to Disney’s ideal. Plus, Joe had to shave every day to play a younger version of himself on the Disney Channel TV show Jonas. That's messed up!
But this confessional really took a turn for the awesome when Jonas started talking about his love life. As we've always suspected, the promise ring wearing Jonas was the king of heavy petting. "I lost my virginity when I was 20. I did other stuff before then" Yea you did, Joe. Some other choice revelations:
"Yes, I’ve dated fans. I can’t say that I’ve never put a foot in that world; there were times when I definitely took advantage of the opportunities I had. I remember I invited a fan to a movie, and we just made out the entire time. I don’t even remember what the movie was about. I must have been 16 or so. "
"I used to sneak out and hook up with this one girl in her car...The girl was also in the business, and we thought we were screwed because we were both working with Disney."
On ex-girlfriend Demi Lovato: "Things kept building up, and Demi ended up punching a girl in the face on a plane, because she thought the girl was blaming her for something. Everybody gasped, and the girl just started bleeding."
"The first time I smoked weed was with Demi and Miley. I must have been 17 or 18. They kept saying, “Try it! Try it!” so I gave it a shot, and it was all right."
Likability Points Gained: 7/10. Between smoking with Miley and making out with fans at the movies, this tell-all manages to make Joe Jonas sound like a really cool, normal guy. Plus, it actually peaked our interest in Joe Jonas' solo career…not an easy task. Unlike Baldwin, Jonas managed an endearing exposé without throwing any friends or colleagues under the bus. Even Demi Lovato appeared to support Jonas and respect his honesty.
Actress Ellen Page came out of the closet on Valentine's Day at a Human Rights Campaign conference in Las Vegas. She spoke articulately and movingly on her personal journey and motivations for coming out, explaining, "I’m here today because I am gay. And because… maybe I can make a difference. To help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility.
“I also do it selfishly, because I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission. I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered. And I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain. I am young, yes, but what I have learned is that love, the beauty of it, the joy of it and yes, even the pain of it, is the most incredible gift to give and to receive as a human being. And we deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame and without compromise."
Likability Points Gained: 10/10. Honest, vulnerable, brave, humble, direct and heartfelt—this speech killed it. And the tidal wave of celeb support and love was genuinely inspiring—proving that maybe Valentine's Day isn't just about binge watching House of Cards after all.
Shia LaBeouf is going rogue. His tell-all hasn't taken the form of a speech or a magazine article—rather, it’s become a 24/7 work of performance art. LaBeouf's entire life is one long confessional and, like all celebrity meltdowns, we just can't look away.
In December, LaBeouf was accused of plagiarizing author Daniel Clowes' work for his short film, “HowardCantour.com". LaBeouf responded with a rambling tweet, claiming "I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation." Continuing down the winding road towards complete insanity, LaBeouf then started tweeting plagiarized apologies from the likes of Mark Zuckerburg and Lena Dunham. He also apologized to Daniel Clowes via sky writing because, as Lena Dunham astutely noted, that's what crazy people do.
Next, LaBeouf formerly retired. But it seems as though LaBeouf favors a loose interpretation of "retirement". On February 9, the actor arrived at the premiere of his new film Nymphomaniac in Berlin wearing a paper bag over his head. The bag featured slits for eyes and the slogan "I am not famous anymore", which LaBeouf had taken to tweeting on a daily basis.
But the star's most confessional and fascinating public appearance post-meltdown was his LA based art installation, "#IAmSorry." The exhibit, which showed at the Stephen Cohen Gallery, invited viewers to choose from a series of implements, many of which were associated with various moments in LaBeouf's career. The exhibit-goer was then led into a room outfitted with a table and two chairs. Behind the table was LaBeouf, wearing his paper bag mask paired with an elegant tuxedo. #WTF?
Likability Points Gained: Remains to be seen. It's almost impossible to read the thermometer of public opinion when it comes to LaBeouf's recent melt down/revelation. While some believe that LaBeouf is simply an overworked child star pulling an Amanda Bynes, others are under the impression that he is truly a cognizant artist, playing with mediums in order to offer a meta-commentary on celebrity, consumerism, social media, and art. Plus when you read articles like this, you can't help but feel bad for the kid.