Alec Baldwin’s 9/11 Remark Angers Widow of Victim

by | December 12, 2011 at 5:43 PM | Celebrity Freakouts

Alec Baldwin (AP)

Is there anyone who isn’t angry at Alec Baldwin?

On Tuesday, Baldwin caused a stir when he was kicked off an American Airlines flight after refusing to turn off his phone because he was playing the Scrabble-like word game Words with Friends.

After publically admonishing the airline on his now-defunct Twitter account, Baldwin ignited ire from American Airlines, which shot back at the actor, calling him “extremely rude.” And when the “30 Rock” star slammed the airline’s flight attendants for making his flight “a Greyhound bus experience,” Greyhound retorted, accusing him of having never traveled with the company.

However, the silly celebrity feud became more serious, after Baldwin took to his Huffington Post blog with a post entitled “My Flying Lesson.”

In the message, the actor apologized to fellow passengers for inconveniencing them and explained that he felt singled out for doing something he “nearly always does” before take-off. The post then takes an unexpected turn as Baldwin described the changes he has seen in airline service over the years.

“One of the big changes, in my time, is in the increase of the post-9/11, paramilitary bearing of much of the air travel business,” Baldwin wrote. “September 11th was a horrific day in the airline industry, yet in the wake of that event, I believe carriers and airports have used that as an excuse to make the air travel experience as inelegant as possible.”

In a statement to TMZ, Cheryl McGuinness Hutchins, widow of an American Airlines co-pilot killed in the World Trade Center attack on 9/11, fires back at the actor, saying, “I absolutely think [Baldwin’s statement] was an inappropriate comment to make.”

“I believe airlines used what happened on 9/11 to increase security and protect passengers as much as possible – not to make traveling inelegant,” Hutchins continued. “If [Alec] did something inappropriate … he shouldn’t have to point the finger at a world tragedy. He should just take responsibility for his actions and admit he should have gotten off the phone.”

Only three months ago, Baldwin wrote a blog commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, saying in part, “The attacks of 2001 remain unshakably frustrating for me. The US government’s response to these events has seemed grossly insufficient and perhaps even negligent in terms of this country’s long-term interests.”

He later added: “As unimaginable and cowardly as the 9/11 attacks were, it’s important to ask ourselves what we must learn from them. Not just about terrorism, but about our country and ourselves as well.”

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