SAG Awards shocker: Gay slurs don’t hurt Alec Baldwin’s odds of winning

Alec Baldwin spits in the face of controversy. His mantra might well be, “Bring it on.” Year after year, he stirs up trouble and makes new foes. Yet, the bombastic Baldwin brandishes seven consecutive SAG awards for Best TV Comedy Actor, winning every year since “30 Rock” debuted. And it looks like he is on track to take home an eighth trophy for the final five episodes of this NBC laffer that aired last January. (He shouldn’t have been eligible as the show didn’t have the requisite six episodes in 2013 but SAG waived this rule.)

That Baldwin is predicted to further extend his winning record is striking in that twice this year he has been embroiled in controversy over his anti-gay slurs. On Nov. 15, he used a homophobic slur against a reporter, prompting MSNBC to first suspend and then cancel his “Up Late” talker. And back on June 27, he made headlines for his homophobic rant on Twitter against a reporter who had mistakenly written that Baldwin’s wife had tweeted during James Gandolfini’s funeral.

Despite these misdeeds, all seven of our Editors as well as 17 of our Top 24 Users from last year and two-thirds of All Users are predicting him to win at the SAG Awards yet again. That support gives him leading odds of 15/8 over reigning Emmy champ Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”) who has the backing of just two of the Top 24 and 20% of All Users.

Why are so many of us predicting him to prevail? There is plenty of precedent for Baldwin winning awards despite his bad behavior. 

In April 2007, an angry voicemail that he left his daughter leaked and Baldwin was lambasted for calling her a “rude, thoughtless little pig.” Yet, he reaped his first Emmy bid for “30 Rock” that fall. While he lost that race to Ricky Gervais (“Extras”), he won for the next three years running and then contended for the final three years of the series. 

On Dec. 6, 2011, the actor was removed from a flight because he refused to quit playing a mobile game as the aircraft was preparing for departure. He still earned Globe and SAG bids later that month, losing the former to Matt LeBlanc (“Episodes”) but prevailing with the latter. 

Compare all his success with what befell Jeremy Piven. He had won three Emmys and a Golden Globe for his supporting performance on HBO’s comedy “Entourage” and contended three times in the competitive combined TV Comedy Actor category at SAG before being ridiculed by the media when he suddenly exited the hit Broadway revival of “Speed the Plow” back in Dec. 2008, citing mercury poisoning from overdosing on sushi. While he appeared in three further seasons of “Entourage,” he was never nominated by the Emmys or SAG again and contended at the Globes just once more.

Can Baldwin overcome this latest round of controversy to charm his way to another SAG Award? Vote now in our predictions center for Best TV Comedy Actor.

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