Alec Baldwin Cut From Emmys Over Phone Hacking Joke

Leonard Nimoy's appearance as the president of television during tonight's Emmy's intro seemed a bit random, and here's why: The role was supposed to be played by Alec Baldwin. Alec worked with the program's writers on a joke that referenced the investigation into phone hacking at Rupert Murdoch's tabloids. Fox decided to cut the line, so Baldwin asked to be removed from the sketch altogether. He Tweeted:

I understand NewsCorp killing that joke.

Adding:

If I were enmeshed in a scandal where I hacked phones of families of innocent crime victims purely 4 profit, I'd want that 2 go away, 2.

A Fox spokesman told Deadline that they didn't cut the joke because it involved their boss, but "because they take the phone-hacking allegations very seriously and did not want to be seen as making light of them." Right. Baldwin never planned to attend the awards show, as he'd already committed to being at Tony Bennett's birthday party.