- Alec Baldwin got into a harsh Twitter exchange with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and his girlfriend, actress Asia Argento
- Argento and Bourdain slammed Baldwin for implying Rose McGowan 'delayd justice' by accepting a cash settlement with alleged rapist Harvey Weinstein
- Baldwin also acknowledged that he knew of 'rumors' that were talked about 'for decades' in Hollywood about Weinstein's alleged rape of McGowan
- ‘Hey @AlecBaldwin you're either a complete moron or providing cover for your pals and saving your own rep. Maybe all three,’ Argento tweeted on Saturday
- ‘If you paint every man with the same brush, you’re gonna run out of paint or men,’ Baldwin responded to Argento
- Bourdain came to his girlfriend’s defense, tweeting to Baldwin: ‘You are really too dumb to pour piss out of a boot’
- Baldwin fired back at Bourdain, tweeting: ‘You should stick to eating worms and keep your mouth shut’
- McGowan, who has led an unrelenting commentary on the Weinstein sexual assault scandal since it erupted last month, responded furiously to his remarks
- Announcing his Twitter hiatus, Baldwin said it was 'never his intention' to 'blame the victim' and said that his 'heart goes out' to anyone affected by harassment
Published: 00:53 EDT, 5 November 2017 | Updated: 00:53 EDT, 5 November 2017
Alec Baldwin vowed to take a hiatus from Twitter on Saturday – but not before he got into a harsh exchange with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and his girlfriend, actress Asia Argento, over the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
The actor, who appeared once again on Saturday Night Live's cold open to impersonate President Donald Trump amid the latest controversy, was criticized by Argento and Bourdain for implying that one of Weinstein’s alleged rape victims, Rose McGowan, was wrong to accept a financial settlement rather than press criminal charges because it 'delayed justice'.
Argento was one of the first women to come forward in an interview with The New Yorker magazine and accuse Weinstein of orally raping her.
Bourdain is the host of the popular CNN travel and food show Parts Unknown.
Alec Baldwin (seen left with wife Hilaria) vowed to take a hiatus from Twitter on Saturday – but not before he got into a harsh exchange with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and his girlfriend, actress Asia Argento (right), over the Harvey Weinstein scandal
Baldwin was criticized by Argento and Bourdain for implying that one of Weinstein’s alleged rape victims, Rose McGowan (seen above on October 27 in Detroit), was wrong to accept a financial settlement rather than press criminal charges because it 'delayed justice'
Baldwin has also been criticized for acknowledging that many in Hollywood had heard rumors for decades about Weinstein's alleged rape of McGowan. Baldwin and Weinstein are seen in this 2007 file photo
‘Hey @AlecBaldwin you're either a complete moron or providing cover for your pals and saving your own rep. Maybe all three,’ Argento tweeted on Saturday.
In an interview with PBS on Friday, Baldwin, 59, admitted hearing a 'rumor' McGowan had been raped by Weinstein but doing nothing about it along with the rest of Hollywood.
He said it was 'for' McGowan to prosecute it and later said it was an 'issue' that victims of sexual harassment were sometimes silenced by cash settlements because it thwarted the course of justice.
'You heard the rumor that he raped Rose McGowan. You heard that over and over. We have heard that for decades.
On Friday, Baldwin, 59, said it was down to McGowan to pursue her case against Weinstein and admitted he and others heard rumors about the mogul's alleged attack on her for 'decades' but nothing was done to address it
Rose McGowan responded to his interview furiously saying it was proof 'everyone knew' and 'no one cared' that she had been raped
'But what happened was that Rose McGowan took a payment of $100,000 and settled her case with him. And it was for Rose McGowan to prosecute that case,' he said.
McGowan, who has led an unrelenting commentary on the Weinstein sexual assault scandal since it erupted last month, responded furiously to his remarks.
'Told you everyone knew. No one cared. Men ran the show. Women toed the line. No more,' she said.
Announcing his Twitter hiatus, Baldwin said it was 'never his intention' to 'blame the victim' and said that his 'heart goes out' to anyone affected by sexual harassment.
Explaining why no one else spoke up, he said it was because it remained an unproven rumor and argued that 'everyone' in every type of industry gives colleagues and emoloyers 'the benefit of the doubt'.
After Argento’s tweet, Baldwin responded on the Twitter account he uses for his foundation.
Argento was one of the first women to come forward in an interview with The New Yorker magazine and accuse Weinstein of orally raping her
Bourdain is the host of the popular CNN travel and food show Parts Unknown
‘If you paint every man with the same brush, you’re gonna run out of paint or men,’ Baldwin responded to Argento.
Bourdain came to his girlfriend’s defense, tweeting to Baldwin: ‘You are really too dumb to pour piss out of a boot.’
Baldwin fired back at Bourdain, tweeting: ‘You should stick to eating worms and keep your mouth shut.’
Baldwin then blocked both Bourdain and Argento. He called the star chef ‘a self-seeking liar’.
Argento tweeted: ‘I’ve been blocked on Twitter by Alec Baldwin. I wear this medal with pride.’
Earlier on Saturday, when Baldwin announced he would refrain from tweeting in response to the backlash over his comments about McGowan and Weinstein, Argento tweeted: ‘So Alec Baldwin is taking a hiatus from Twitter to meditate about his words on Rose McGowan and gender equality. We won’t miss you bully boy.’
Baldwin addressed the scandal on Twitter on Saturday afternoon and signed off from social media
The ‘bully boy’ reference was from comments Baldwin made on Thursday when he acknowledged bullying and mistreating women.
Baldwin made the comments while receiving an award from The Paley Center for Media on Thursday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Argento's claims were published last month in a New Yorker exposé which came within hours of a separate, equally shocking piece, by The New York Times which included allegations against Weinstein by Hollywood darlings Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie.
In her comments to The New Yorker, Italian-born Argento, 42, told how Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her after luring her to an empty room at the Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc in the South of France in 1997.
Nearly two weeks after the New Yorker article, McGowan went public with her own rape allegations against Weinstein.
McGowan accepted $100,000 from Weinstein in 1997 after an alleged encounter in hotel room.
It was part of an agreement that the case would not be prosecuted further but was not an admission of guilt on Weinstein's part, according to The New York Times which viewed a legal document detailing the agreement.
After a handful of women aired claims that Weinstein had either harassed or raped them at the start of October, McGowan claimed on Twitter that she had been raped by 'HW'.
She did not use his name but said she told Amazon studio head Roy Price about the attack and said nothing was done to help her.
Amidst the controversy, Baldwin appeared on Saturday Night Live's cold open to reprise his portrayal of President Donald Trump. He is seen above alongside SNL cast member Alex Moffat, who is playing former campaign chairman Paul Manafort
Price has been fired by Amazon in light of separate claims he sexually harassed a lesbian TV producer.
On Saturday, McGowan's fans supported her criticism of Baldwin and his remarks.
'Finds a way to blame women. Not rapist,' said one.
'Leave it to Alec Baldwin to perpetuate the victim blaming. Now it's Rose McGowan's fault that Harvey Weinstein kept assaulting women.'
'The money is NOT the reason they don't speak out and Alec Baldwin is victim blaming,' another quipped.
Baldwin's fans defended him, saying his comments were not aimed at the victims and that he was offering a wider commentary on the mere existence of such cash settlements as those he described.
'Mr Baldwin is not blaming anyone. He's pointing out that women are cornered to accept these settlements,' said one.
Weinstein is hiding out in Arizona where he may be arrested any day and extradited to New York to face charges.
Bourdain and McGowan dined together in New York on Thursday. Bourdain and Argento have been vocal supporters of women who have come forward to accuse Weinstein and others of sexual misconduct
The NYPD announced this week that it believed it had credible and sufficient evidence to issue a warrant for his arrest.
He is also being investigated in London and Los Angeles over separate sexual assault and harassment claims.
The exposure of Weinstein by The New York Times and New Yorker last month has led to an avalanche of accusations against other men across Hollywood and in other industries.
[contf] [contfnew] [hhm]Daily Mail[hhmc] [contfnewc] [contfnewc]
Australia: Scott Morrison saga casts scrutiny on Queen’s representative
In the past fortnight, Australia has been gripped by revelations that former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison secretly appointed himself to several additional ministries.
The move has been labelled a “power grab” by his successor as prime minister, and Mr Morrison has been scolded by many – even his own colleagues.
But the scandal has also dragged Australia’s governor-general into the fray – sparking one of the biggest controversies involving the Queen’s representative in Australia in 50 years.
So does Governor-General David Hurley have questions to answer, or is he just collateral damage?
Governors-general have fulfilled the practical duties as Australia’s head of state since the country’s 1901 federation.
Candidates for the role were initially chosen by the monarch but are now recommended by the Australian government.
The job is largely ceremonial – a governor-general in almost every circumstance must act on the advice of the government of the day. But conventions allow them the right to “encourage” and “warn” politicians.
Key duties include signing bills into law, issuing writs for elections, and swearing in ministers.
Mr Hurley has run into trouble on the latter. At Mr Morrison’s request, he swore the prime minister in as joint minister for health in March 2020, in case the existing minister became incapacitated by Covid.
Over the next 14 months, he also signed off Mr Morrison as an additional minister in the finance, treasury, home affairs and resources portfolios.
Mr Morrison already had ministerial powers, so Mr Hurley was basically just giving him authority over extra departments.
It’s a request the governor-general “would not have any kind of power to override or reject”, constitutional law professor Anne Twomey tells the BBC.
“This wasn’t even a meeting between the prime minister and the governor-general, it was just paperwork.”
But Mr Morrison’s appointments were not publicly announced, disclosed to the parliament, or even communicated to most of the ministers he was job-sharing with.
Australia’s solicitor-general found Mr Morrison’s actions were not illegal but had “fundamentally undermined” responsible government.
But the governor-general had done the right thing, the solicitor-general said in his advice this week.
It would have been “a clear breach” for him to refuse the prime minister, regardless of whether he knew the appointments would be kept secret, Stephen Donaghue said.
Critics push for investigation
Ultimately, Mr Hurley had to sign off on Mr Morrison’s requests, but critics say he could have counselled him against it and he could have publicised it himself.
But representatives for the governor-general say these types of appointments – giving ministers the right to administer other departments – are not unusual.
And it falls to the government of the day to decide if they should be announced to the public. They often opt not to.
Mr Hurley himself announcing the appointments would be unprecedented. He had “no reason to believe that appointments would not be communicated”, his spokesperson said.
Emeritus professor Jenny Hocking finds the suggestion Mr Hurley didn’t know the ministries had been kept secret “ridiculous”.
“The last of these bizarre, duplicated ministry appointments… were made more than a year after the first, so clearly by then the governor-general did know that they weren’t being made public,” she says.
“I don’t agree for a moment that the governor-general has a lot of things on his plate and might not have noticed.”
The historian says it’s one of the biggest controversies surrounding a governor-general since John Kerr caused a constitutional crisis by sacking Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1975.
Prof Hocking famously fought for transparency around that matter – waging a lengthy and costly legal battle that culminated in the release of Mr Kerr’s correspondence with the Queen.
And she says the same transparency is needed here.
The Australian public need to know whether Mr Hurley counselled the prime minister against the moves, and why he didn’t disclose them
The government has already announced an inquiry into Mr Morrison’s actions, but she wants it to look at the governor-general and his office too.
“If the inquiry is to find out what happened in order to fix what happened, it would be extremely problematic to leave out a key part of that equation.”
Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – Mr Morrison’s predecessor – has also voiced support for an inquiry.
“Something has gone seriously wrong at Government House,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“It is the passive compliance along the chain… that did undermine our constitution and our democracy… that troubles me the most. This is how tyranny gets under way.”
PM defends governor-general
Prof Twomey says the criticism of Mr Hurley is unfair – there’s was no “conspiracy” on his part to keep things secret.
“I don’t think it’s reasonable for anyone to expect that he could have guessed that the prime minister was keeping things secret from his own ministers, for example.
“Nobody really thought that was a possibility until about two weeks ago.”
Even if he had taken the unprecedented step to publicise the appointments or to reject Mr Morrison’s request, he’d have been criticised, she says.
“There’d be even more people saying ‘how outrageous!'” she says. “The role of governor-general is awkward because people are going to attack you either way.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has also defended Mr Hurley, saying he was just doing his job.
“I have no intention of undertaking any criticism of [him].”
A role fit for purpose?
Prof Hocking says it’s a timely moment to look at the role of the governor-general more broadly.
She points out it’s possible the Queen may have been informed about Mr Morrison’s extra ministries when Australia’s parliament and people were not.
“It does raise questions about whether this is fit for purpose, as we have for decades been a fully independent nation, but we still have… ‘the relics of colonialism’ alive and well.”
Momentum for a fresh referendum on an Australian republic has been growing and advocates have seized on the controversy.
“The idea that the Queen and her representative can be relied upon to uphold our system of government has been debunked once and for all,” the Australian Republic Movement’s Sandy Biar says.
“It’s time we had an Australian head of state, chosen by Australians and accountable to them to safeguard and uphold Australia’s constitution.”
But Prof Twomey says republicans are “clutching at straws” – under their proposals, the head of state would also have been bound to follow the prime minister’s advice.
“It wouldn’t result in any changes that would have made one iota of difference.”
Australia election: PM Morrison’s security team in car crash in Tasmania
A car carrying the Australian prime minister’s security team has crashed in Tasmania during an election campaign visit.
Four police officers were taken to hospital with “non-life threatening injuries” after the car and another vehicle collided, authorities said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was not in the car, but the accident prompted him to cancel the rest of his campaign events on Thursday.
The other driver involved was not hurt.
Tasmania Police said initial investigations suggested the second car had “collided with the rear of the police vehicle, while attempting to merge”. It caused the unmarked security vehicle to roll off the road.
The two Tasmania Police officers and two Australian Federal Police officers were conscious when taken to hospital for medical assessment, the prime minister’s office said.
“Family members of the officers have been contacted and are being kept informed of their condition,” a statement said.
“The PM is always extremely grateful for the protection provided by his security team and extends his best wishes for their recovery and to their families.”
Australians go to the polls on 21 May. Mr Morrison – prime minister since 2018 – is hoping to win his conservative coalition’s fourth term in office.
Polls suggest the opposition Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese, is favoured to win. However, Mr Morrison defied similar polling to claim victory at the last election in 2019.
Mr Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition holds 76 seats in the House of Representatives – the minimum needed to retain power.
Political observers say the cost of living, climate change, trust in political leaders, and national security will be among key issues in the campaign.
In recent weeks, the prime minister has faced accusations of being a bully and once sabotaging a rival’s career by suggesting the man’s Lebanese heritage made him less electable. Mr Morrison has denied the allegations.
Mr Albanese stumbled into his own controversy this week when he failed to recall the nation’s unemployment or interest rates.
Sydney airport warns delays could last weeks on third day of travel chaos
Long queues at Sydney airport’s domestic terminals have continued for a third day, with some passengers missing international connections, as the airport warns delays resulting from a surge in travellers and a shortfall in security staff could continue for weeks.
Chaotic scenes were reported in the departure halls as early as 4.30am on Saturday, with some frustrated travellers, many of whom heeded the pleas of airport chiefs to arrive at least two hours before their domestic flight was due to take off, claiming only one security line was operating.
While the queues that formed early on Saturday are understood to have cleared later in the morning, the airport apologised to affected travellers.
“Traffic numbers are picking up and the close contact rules are making it hard to fill shifts and staff the airport. We appreciate your patience,” Sydney airport said on its Twitter account.
A wave of families travelling as the term two school holidays begin this weekend, combined with close contact rules that are understood to be taking out about 20% of security shifts in any given day, are driving the problem.
Certis, the company that Sydney airport contracts for its security operations, is desperately trying to recruit personnel, while the airport has reallocated back office, IT and retail workers to the departure hall to comb queues so they can prioritise passengers at risk of missing their flight.
“We are working around the clock to resolve these issues and have teams in the terminals bringing passengers forward in order of priority,” a Sydney airport spokesperson said.
He added that the airport is “anticipating it will [be] busy right through the school holiday period and peak over the Easter and Anzac Day weekends, in some cases at 90% of pre-Covid passenger levels”.
“We’re deeply grateful to passengers for their ongoing patience and we’re sorry to everyone who has been inconvenienced,” the spokesperson said. “We would also like to thank passengers for getting to the airport early and treating staff and each other with kindness and respect.”
The Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce was forced to clarify comments he made on Friday that passengers were “not match fit” and that those forgetting to remove laptops and aerosols from their bags at the security check contributing to the delays.
“Just to be clear, I’m not ‘blaming’ passengers,” Joyce said. “Of course it’s not their fault,” he said.
Qantas shed thousands of staff during the pandemic, and outsourced ground crews in a decision that was challenged in court.
On Saturday, Qantas also apologised to a Melbourne family left stranded in Sydney, after domestic flight delays caused them to miss an international trip.
Javiera Martinez, her partner Daniel Capurro and their three children were supposed to be flying to Chile on Friday to visit relatives they had not seen in three years.
But after their 8am Qantas flight from Melbourne was delayed by half an hour, baggage handling and airport transfer delays in Sydney meant they couldn’t make their 11.30am LATAM Airlines flight to Santiago.
Martinez said the airline’s procedures at the airport were chaotic.
“We think Qantas didn’t behave appropriately. I got berated by the person at the counter – they never apologised, they never assumed any responsibility at all,” she said. “It was a rude conversation. We have been mistreated badly I would say.”
The PCR tests they need to travel have now expired and they will have to take them again as they wait for seats on the next flight to Santiago from Sunday.
The airline has apologised and paid for a night’s accommodation in Sydney.
“We sincerely apologise that the family missed their connecting flight on another airline due to delays moving through Sydney airport on Friday,” a Qantas spokesperson said.
The family is among many affected by hold ups amid the busiest travel period in two years, with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports warning passengers to arrive two hours before domestic flights.
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