Alec Baldwin Apologizing for Tweet

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(CNN) –  After lashing out at a Daily Mail reporter on twitter,  Alec Baldwin has offered an apology.

Not an apology for his message, exactly – he’s still not pleased that the Daily Mail published a report alleging that his wife Hilaria had been tweeting during Thursday’s funeral service of actor James Gandolfini.

But the 55-year-old is sorry that his tweeted outrage – which included calling the journalist a “toxic little queen,” among other comments – has been perceived as being homophobic.

Among his critics was CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who tweeted,  “Why does #AlecBaldwin get a pass when he uses gay slurs? If a conservative talked of beating up a ‘queen’ they would be vilified.”

Andrew Sullivan concurred, writing that Baldwin’s remarks weren’t “just hate speech; it’s a specific call for other people to physically attack a gay man. It’s a call to violence against a specific person, which, last time I checked, was a crime. He’s a pro-gay liberal, so he may get a pass for this. He shouldn’t.”

Later that day, Baldwin issued an apology to GLAAD, saying that his “ill-advised attack on George Stark of the Daily Mail had absolutely nothing to do with issues of anyone’s sexual orientation. My anger was directed at Mr. Stark for blatantly lying and disseminating libelous information about my wife and her conduct at our friend’s funeral service. As someone who fights against homophobia, I apologize.”

As someone who’s been a supporter of gay marriage, Baldwin continued, “I would not advocate violence against someone for being gay and I hope that my friends at GLAAD and the gay community understand that my attack on Mr. Stark in no way was the result of homophobia.”

But to be clear, Baldwin’s not apologizing for “defending my wife,” as he told Gothamist.

“[T]he idea of me calling this guy a ‘queen’ and that being something that people thought is homophobic … a queen to me has a different meaning,” Baldwin said. “It’s somebody who’s just above. It doesn’t have any necessarily sexual connotations. … To me those are people who think the rules don’t apply to them. This guy could blatantly lie, I mean blatantly lie about my wife on the Internet and there are just no rules that apply to him, but that’s outrageous to me.”

As the actor’s previously said, his wife had left her phone in the car for Gandolfini’s service, and thus wasn’t tweeting as family and friends gathered to mourn “The Sopranos” great. The funeral, Baldwin said, left a lasting impact on him, as Gandolfini wasn’t the type of star who indulged in the celebrity spotlight.

“He went and did his work, he put his energy into his work,” Baldwin said, adding that he has no plans to return to Twitter. “He didn’t think to himself, ‘Man I gotta have a Twitter, I gotta be Twittering.’ I thought, ‘you know something? I’m gonna take a lesson from Jimmy Gandolfini.’

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