Alec Baldwin abandons Twitter after airline flap

Alec Baldwin 2

LOS ANGELES: Alec Baldwin was unusually quiet Wednesday — at least on Twitter. The usually outspoken 30 Rock star has sent his last tweet — at least for now — following an altercation on an American Airlines flight that led to his removal from the plane.

According to New York Daily News, Baldwin began to experience a Twitter meltdown on Tuesday after issuing a barrage of tweets about his flight ejection. Noting his urge to “crash” his account and begin anew, Baldwin urged his followers — then numbering about 600,000 — to “unfollow” him in droves.

“Let’s play a game called Mass Unfollowing,” one of Baldwin’s last tweets read. “I want to crash this acct and start again. But, tonight at 10PM, NY time, unfollow me.”

By Wednesday, the name of his account had been changed from AlecBaldwin to Deactivated001. In the latest metamorphosis of Baldwin’s twitter status, the actor’s account has now been suspended, leaving the world without access to Baldwin’s 4,700-plus missives of pithy wit and wisdom.

So what happened? Has Baldwin gone into social-media exile in reaction to his high-profile expulsion? Did Twitter suspend Baldwin’s account in light of his “Mass Unfollowing” shenanigans?

The actor’s spokesperson, Matthew Hiltzik, told the paper that Baldwin is “focusing on shooting 30 Rock today” — though it seems a bit drastic to abandon Twitter altogether for the mere sake of professionalism.

But then, Baldwin has a history of volatile, unpredictable behaviour. The actor — who during the Clinton impeachment hearings famously posited that “If we were in another country ... we would stone Henry Hyde to death” — also made headlines in 2007 when he left a phone message for his then-11-year-old daughter, Ireland, calling her a “thoughtless little pig.”

The outbursts, and the plane incident, could be problematic if he ever makes good on his stated interest in running for political office.

Baldwin was escorted off his American Airlines flight on Wednesday while waiting to take off from Los Angeles International Airport.

Both the actor and his spokesperson said Baldwin was playing online the Zynga game Words With Friends while waiting for the plane to take off.

Less playful

Zynga offered support for that account by tweeting a graphic of the Words With Friends interface with the message “Let Alec Play.” (Baldwin also posted the image on his own twitter account.)

But others have a less playful account. A crew member on the plane told the New York Post that the actor went ballistic after being asked repeatedly to turn off his iPhone, and became “violent, abusive and aggressive” to the point that the flight’s captain had to get involved.

“He was beating the walls of the lavatory to the point that the captain called us to see what that was about. They heard it in the cockpit,” the paper quoted the crew member as saying.

American issued a statement on its Facebook page supporting the crew member’s account, though it didn’t identify Baldwin by name. “The passenger was extremely rude to the crew, calling them inappropriate names and using offensive language,” the statement said. “Given the facts above, the passenger was removed from the flight and denied boarding.”

Baldwin was booked onto another American Airlines flight, the actor’s spokesman told on Tuesday. But unwilling to leave bad enough alone, he taunted the airline with a series of tweets.

“Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving,” Baldwin wrote, adding the hashtag “#nowonderamericaairisbankrupt” — a none-too-subtle dig at the airline’s financial woes.

A subsequent tweet offered a plug for a rival airline: “#theresalwaysunited.”

Sadly, at least for now, the world is deprived of such witticisms. Whether his absence amounts to the equivalent of a weather delay or a full-on cancellation remains to be seen.

Baldwin’s spokesman did not immediately respond to’s request for comment. — Reuters

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