Alec Baldwin was not involved in the rally where he engaged in a heated argument with a pro-Palestinian protestor, a source close to the actor tells Us Weekly.
Baldwin, 65, was on his way “to volunteer to teach an acting class” in Manhattan on Monday, December 18, when he found himself in the middle of a demonstration, the insider explains, noting that the actor had “no intention of going to the protest and was not involved in any way.”
“He was approached aggressively and repeatedly,” the source tells Us. “The police stepped in to avoid further confrontation so he could make his way to the class safely.”
A group of pro-Palestine protestors began their march down 42nd Street from Grand Central Terminal in NYC earlier on Monday, before heading to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. They later made their way to Penn Station where they gathered inside Moynihan Train Hall in midtown.
According to footage obtained by NBC New York, Baldwin was walking by the protest near West 29th Street when ralliers spotted him and accused him of supporting Israel in the current Israel-Hamas war. After getting in multiple scuffles with the demonstrators, NYPD stepped in to escort the 30 Rock alum toward a building entrance.
The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has sparked a multitude of Hollywood tension. Last month, Melissa Barrera — who starred as final girl Samantha Carpenter in the latest batch of Scream sequels — was let go from the franchise due to her comments about Palestine. (Filming for the seventh film was set to begin in April.)
“Gaza is currently being treated like a concentration camp,” she wrote via Instagram Stories, per The Hollywood Reporter. “Cornering everyone together, with no where to go, no electricity no water … People have learnt nothing from our histories. And just like our histories, people are still silently watching it all happen. THIS IS GENOCIDE & ETHNIC CLEANSING.”
At the time, Spyglass, the production company behind the new Scream films, released a statement about the decision to let her go.
“Spyglass’ stance is unequivocally clear: We have zero tolerance for antisemitism or the incitement of hate in any form, including false references to genocide, ethnic cleansing, Holocaust distortion or anything that flagrantly crosses the line into hate speech,” the company told Variety in a statement.
Barrera responded to the firing days later, clarifying that she condemns “hate and prejudice of any kind against any group of people.”
“As a Latina, a proud Mexicana, I feel the responsibility of having a platform that allows me the privilege of being heard,” the actress wrote via her Instagram Story. “Every person on this earth- regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or socio-economic status- deserves equal human rights, dignity and, of course, freedom. I believe a group of people are NOT their leadership, and that no governing body should be above criticism.”
Susan Sarandon, meanwhile, was dropped by the United Talent Agency for a speech she gave at a pro-Palestine rally in November.
“There are a lot of people that are afraid of being Jewish at this time, and are getting a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country, so often subjected to violence,” Sarandon told the crowd according to video obtained by the New York Post.
She later called the phrasing of her comments a “terrible mistake.”
“Recently, I attended a rally alongside a diverse group of activists seeking to highlight the urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza and call for a censure. I had not planned to speak but was invited to take the stage and say a few words,” she wrote via Instagram on December 1. “This phrasing was a terrible mistake, as it implies that until recently Jews have been strangers to persecution, when the opposite is true. As we all know, from centuries of oppression and genocide in Europe to the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, PA, Jews have long been familiar with discrimination and religious violence, which continues to this day.”
Sarandon was also one of the several actors, comedians and musicians who penned an open letter to President Joe Biden calling for a ceasefire in the war in Gaza, which began after Hamas killed more than 1,200 Israelis in a coordinated October 7 attack. Drake, Jennifer Lopez, Gigi Hadid, Zayn Malik, Rachel McAdams, Oscar Isaac, Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck, Kristen Stewart, Channing Tatum, Quinta Brunson, Sandra Oh and Joaquin Phoenix were among the celebrities who signed the petition, according to the Artists 4 Ceasefire website.