Following his controversial criticism of Last Week Tonight host John Oliver’s viral takedown of actor Dustin Hoffman over accusations of sexual assault, Alec Baldwin doubled down on his remarks during Thursday’s Megyn Kelly Today. The former Fox News host called Baldwin’s comments “interesting” in light of the post-Harvey Weinstein climate, especially since he equated what Oliver (and Stephen Colbert, to a degree) did to that of “grand juries” instead of “blithe chit chat” shows. “That whole issue,” Baldwin began, “is a big can of worms to open up, really.”
Despite a brief moment of hesitation, however, the actor launched into an explanation of his comments from Wednesday:
“You certainly want to see everybody who’s guilty of something — who’ve done bad things, wrong things, and hurt people — get punished. But I don’t want to see other people get pulled into that. There’s a lot of accusations and no proof yet. I don’t want to see people get hurt… A lot of people, by the way, endorse [Oliver’s grilling of Hoffman]. They think that the hosts of those show are not only perfectly within their rights, but also find it very attractive or very necessary for them to be pressing this cause. I just don’t want to see people who are innocent get into trouble.”
As an example of the kinds of people he wanted to see punished, Baldwin name-dropped Weinstein, whom he described as “in a rehab hiding behind millions of dollars’ worth of lawyers.” “I want to see the people who really did something get convicted,” he said. “I want the people who wrong to be punished, but I don’t want to see innocent people get hurt either.” As for Hoffman, however, both he and Kelly appeared more skeptical of the accusations levied against him.
Baldwin even offered a possible explanation for the allegations, saying that “40 years ago, there was a kind of way that people had a sexualized bi-play. A kind of fooling around that was wrong.” He stressed this was “never an excuse,” but then went on to claim the older era’s attitude “seemed to be less problematic than it is now.” Which is weird, since it sounds awfully similar to the excuse Weinstein offered in his initial letter of apology.
Watch the full segment with Baldwin and Kelly below.