The bad behavior exhibited by celebrities makes magazine and television headlines every day. For a culture obsessed with Hollywood, it comes as no surprise when celebrities act in a manner deserving of negative publicity. However, usually they’re at least somewhat apologetic when faced with the reality of their actions, which is ultimately what separates Alec Baldwin from the rest.
For those not well versed in the specifics of the situation involving Mr. Baldwin’s dismissal from an American Airplanes plane, there are two different accounts of the incident: the one relayed by Mr. Baldwin mainly via his Twitter account and a statement published by the Huffington Post, and the one reported by American Airlines using its Facebook page. According to both stories, Mr. Baldwin was asked by a flight attendant to turn off his cell phone and he did not comply, which resulted in the escalation of the situation and Mr. Baldwin’s subsequent removal from the flight.
Where the accounts differ is in their portrayal of Baldwin’s behavior. Baldwin represents himself as an innocent passenger victimized by flight attendants, while the airline paints him as an irate passenger refusing to follow the rules.
In comparing the two accounts, it is clear that American Airlines’ version has more merit. Baldwin has a record of angry outbursts, including one directed at his daughter in which he called her a “rude, thoughtless, little pig.” Taking this into consideration, Baldwin’s outburst actually seems in keeping with his character. Furthermore, it does not matter whether the flight attendant insisting that he turn off his cell phone, spoke to him rudely, or whether this was simply Baldwin’s interpretation of the interaction. If he had simply complied with the attendant’s request, he would not have been removed from the plane.
Although many celebrities exhibit poor behavior, most of them eventually realize their errors and issue apologies, either personally or through public relations. Even though Baldwin did apologize to “[his]fellow travelers,” he has pointedly continued to criticize American Airlines, even appearing on Saturday Night Live in character as a pilot to issue himself the apology he felt he deserved. Therefore, it seems Baldwin feels as though he is serving as a spokesperson for all disgruntled travelers who feel that they have been wronged by a member of the air travel industry. However, this is not a role that he’s qualified to take.
Everyone who uses air travel knows that flying has become more and more inconvenient. Government regulations are annoying and often seem to be completely unnecessary. However, it remains true that remaining cooperative in the face of these rules is the only way to ensure that all travelers get to their respective destinations in the smoothest, most convenient way possible. Would I rather listen to music on my iPod or watch a movie on my laptop rather than idly thumb through SkyMall while waiting to take off? Absolutely. Nevertheless, I would prefer to keep my seat and ensure a safe flight for other passengers than attempt to take a stand against the air travel industry.
Just because someone is famous, doesn’t give them the platform to act as a pest while claiming to be speaking for the people.