Alec Baldwin Explains Why He Skipped the Emmys

If you watched the 63rd Annual Emmy Awards, you know Alec Baldwin was missing. His absence was attributed to news that Fox nixed his taped bit for the opening sequence, because he poked fun at network mogul Rupert Murdoch. But Baldwin insists that the reason he didn't attend the Emmys is simple: He was attending Tony Bennett's 85th birthday bash in New York, instead.

"I didn't skip the Emmys because of that," the 30 Rock star told reporters Sunday at the singer's birthday gala. "I skipped the Emmys because of this – because I wanted to be here."

Baldwin, 53, went on to explain that the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is partially to blame for their scheduling unpredictability.

"The Emmys have been in August for the last several years, but they moved to this date and I'd already committed to this."

The two-time Emmy winner did admit that his contribution to the pre-recorded opener was cut from the show. Originally he played the "president of television" (he was replaced by Leonard Nimoy) and made a joke referencing News Corp's (Fox's parent company owned by Murdoch) phone hacking scandal in the U.K.

"[Fox] had asked me to do a sketch for them," Baldwin explained. "I flew out there [to Los Angeles]. I did the sketch, and it was shot. They cut out something that I thought was the funniest part. I guess it was offensive to them."

So instead of walking the red carpet, Baldwin and girlfriend Hilaria Thomas spent the night celebrating Bennett at a star-studded benefit concert that included appearances by President Bill Clinton, Elton John, Robert De Niro and Aretha Franklin. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday evening!

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