I find this inexcusable: NBC is on the verge of forcing an actor to perform against his will. It’s not like the pain-in-the-ass Alec Baldwin wants to go off and do movies instead of TV. No, if he is to be taken at his word, Baldwin claims he wants to quit acting and take 3-to-5 years off from showbiz to focus on the problem of divorced parents and their children since he’s in the middle of that child custody battle with actress Kim Basinger. Baldwin told The View in a pre-taped interview airing tomorrow that he has asked NBC to let him out of his 30 Rock contract. But NBC is saying no. “Alec Baldwin remains an important part of 30 Rock. We look forward to having him continue his role in the show,” the network said in a statement today. Yesterday the actor fired his agent CAA and told The View: “If I never acted again I couldn’t care less.” Baldwin’s extreme behavior follows the broadcast of that abusive voicemail message he left for his daughter calling her a “rude, thoughtless little pig” and other insults. On The View, the actor apologizes and says he doesn’t want his own scandal to affect the show or its cast and crew. But NBC shouldn’t refuse Baldwin’s request to walk. True, he may regret his decision to leave 30 Rock when the ruckus dies down. But that’s his problem, not the network’s. Baldwin is certainly not irreplaceable. (Hire Steven Weber.)
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