Alec Baldwin strikes back at critics, vows to leave N.Y

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actor Alec Baldwin said New York City's tabloid media culture was forcing him to move out of town after a series of headline-grabbing incidents he was involved in last year, according to an article published on Monday.

"I probably have to move out of New York," Baldwin said in a New York Magazine article. "I just can't live in New York anymore."

Emmy-award winning Baldwin, who was repeatedly portrayed in press accounts last year as a hot-headed homophobe and bigot, struck out at prominent gay journalists who had criticized his behavior.

Baldwin described columnist Andrew Sullivan and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper as the "Gay Department of Justice" after both men publicly criticized his alleged behavior and language.

"I haven't changed, but public life has ... You're out there in a world where if you do make a mistake, it echoes in a digital canyon forever," Baldwin said in a cover story entitled "I Give Up".

Last February, Baldwin was accused by a New York Post photographer who is African-American of using a racial slur.

Following "Sopranos" actor James Gandolfini's June funeral in New York, Baldwin called a British reporter a homophobic slur in a tweet.

The actor repeated his defense in the New York Magazine article that he did not view the term he used as a homophobic slur.

Baldwin, who grew up on Long Island, currently lives in Manhattan with his wife and new baby.

In the article, Baldwin also recounted a Broadway feud with Shia LaBeouf that led to his co-star being fired from the cast of the play "Orphans" after the two argued during rehearsals.

He said he was "fired" from his late-night talk show on cable TV news network MSNBC "all of the sudden, out of nowhere..."

The show, "Up Late with Alec Baldwin," was axed after the actor apologized for comments he made to a New York photographer, shown in a video on celebrity website TMZ.com that a gay rights group described as homophobic.

In the article, he described TMZ.com managing editor Harvey Levin as a "cretinous barnacle on the press".

"For me, (2013) was actually a great year, because my wife and I had a baby," the actor said.

"But, yeah, everything else was pretty awful."

(Reporting By Chris Francescani; Editing by Scott Malone and Sophie Hares)

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