Actor and left-wing activist Alec Baldwin “protected” his Twitter account on Tuesday — effectively controlling which users can view the star’s tweets and which tweets can be retweeted — after much scrutiny over previous posts of his, including a recent one attacking his film crew over safety complaints.
Following his sharing of a post challenging claims of safety concerns on the set of Rust, Baldwin changed his account’s privacy setting to “protected,” restricting access to his tweets to “approved followers.”
As a result, only those previously following the actor or subsequently approved to follow him can see tweets he shares as he remains private.
The shared post, from Rust crew member Terese Magpale Davis, denied in lengthy allegations that the film’s set had unsafe conditions, writing “the story being spun of us being overworked and surrounded by unsafe, chaotic conditions is bullshit.”
Shortly thereafter, the 63-year-old actor protected his “Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation” account, which represents his foundation supporting the arts and boasts of over a million followers and which he had been using as a personal account since deleting his official personal account.
In sharing the post, Baldwin risked irritating investigators, in particular, because he said he was ordered not to discuss the case publicly.
The veteran film and TV star “broke the essential rules of managing a crisis: don’t do any further damage,” said crisis and PR expert Eric Schiffer.
Twitter users were quick to observe Baldwin’s move, some accusing him of an inability to face reality.
— Steph Anie (@mynerdyhome) November 2, 2021
“@AlecBaldwin has protected his tweets!” wrote one Twitter user. “Guess he can’t handle the truth!”
“Alec Baldwin’s tweets are ‘protected’. How convenient. Guess he cant take the flak, huh?” wrote another Twitter user.
“If only the lady he shot was protected, he wouldn’t have to protect his tweets,” wrote yet another.
“Too bad #HalynaHutchins wasn’t as protected as Baldwin’s tweets!” another Twitter user wrote
“Alec Baldwin protected his account. I wonder if the Santa Fe prosecutor’s office downloaded it before Bladwin went dark,” wrote another user.
“Alec Baldwin protected his tweets. LOL,” wrote yet another.
Last month, while on the set of his film Rust, Baldwin, who was both the star and one of the producers of the low-budget independent movie, was rehearsing with a gun he was told did not contain live ammunition. After the actor pulled the trigger, Hutchins was fatally shot and director Joel Souza was injured.
In the days following the tragic incident, it was revealed that several crew members had previously walked off the set in protest of working conditions.
The fatal shooting is currently under investigation in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with authorities saying Baldwin may still face charges, adding “no one has been ruled out” yet.
The 30 Rock actor is known for having quit the social media platform on several occasions.
In 2011, his personal account was deactivated following a rant detailing his removal from a United Airlines flight for playing mobile game Words With Friends during takeoff after being ordered to turn off his phone or leave the plane.
The following year, Baldwin deleted his personal Twitter account days after his wedding, though he continued to tweet from his foundation account.
In 2013, Baldwin deleted his Twitter account after losing his temper and threatening to “fuck up” a Daily Mail journalist who accused his wife Hilaria of using her phone to post upbeat tweets on her account during the memorial service for James Gandolfini in New York.
In 2017, Baldwin again exited the site after implying in an interview that actress and “Me Too” activist Rose McGowan’s acceptance of a settlement from disgraced mega producer Harvey Weinstein delayed justice for his other victims.
In January, Baldwin announced he was leaving Twitter.
“Twitter is like a party where everyone is screaming. Not much of a party,” he tweeted. “Goodbye for now.”
In March, Baldwin deactivated his Twitter account, once again, following backlash to a joke he made about actress Gillian Anderson’s portrayal of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
“Switching accents? That sounds… fascinating,” he joked.
The comment followed a controversy involving his wife, Hilaria, being accused of faking her Spanish accent and heritage in December.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein