Emmy Awards: Alec Baldwin boycotts ceremony after Fox cuts phone-hacking joke
Actor Alec Baldwin boycotted last night's Emmy awards after Fox, which was broadcasting the event, controversially cut a joke he made about the recent News International phone-hacking scandal.
Baldwin had recorded his appearance in the opening video some days earlier but Fox edited his address to remove the phone-hacking joke.
Fox, which is owned by News Corp, the parent company of News International, said it believed it was "inappropriate to make light of an issue being taken very seriously by the company".
Baldwin then asked that his entire sequence be dropped.
In messages on Twitter before the ceremony yesterday, Baldwin suggested that Fox was wrong to remove the joke.
He wrote: "If I were enmeshed in a scandal where I hacked phones of families of innocent crime victims purely for profit, I'd want that to go away too.
"Fox did kill my NewsCorp hacking joke. Which sucks bc I think it would have made them look better. A little."
The actor and director Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock in the original Star Trek, replaced Baldwin.
Kate Winslet and Downton Abbey were among the big winners at the awards .
Winslet was honoured for her lead actress role in Mildred Pierce, while the hit period drama picked up four gongs, including best miniseries and a best supporting actress award for Dame Maggie Smith.
Dressed in a glamorous red gown, an emotional Winslet dedicated the award to her mother, and said: "I didn't think we were going to win anything."
The 63rd Primetime Emmys ceremony saw Mad Men win its fourth consecutive best drama series award, while Modern Family claimed its second best comedy trophy.
Downton Abbey, which launched its second series on ITV last night, was also honoured for its writing and directing, with gongs for Julian Fellowes and Brian Percival.
Writer Julian Fellowes called the success of the show a "David and Goliath story", and said: "I would like to thank you, the American industry. Ten years ago you kick-started my second career with an Oscar, tonight you have nurtured it."
Winslet, who already has an Oscar and a Grammy, beat stars including Downton Abbey's Elizabeth McGovern and Upstairs Downstairs veteran Jean Marsh to her trophy.
There was disappointment however, for Hugh Laurie, who lost out to Kyle Chandler of Friday Night Lights in the lead actor in a drama series category.
Scottish stars Kelly MacDonald, of Boardwalk Empire, and Alan Cumming, of The Good Wife, also went away empty-handed.
British actor Idris Elba, who stars in Luther, lost out to Barry Pepper of The Kennedys for lead actor in a miniseries or movie, and Cat Deeley missed out in the reality show host category.
Other notable wins included Martin Scorsese, who was honoured for directing drama series Boardwalk Empire and Julianna Margulies, who was named best lead actress in a drama series for The Good Wife