Alec Baldwin admits he's 'bullied women,' calls for a change in Hollywood

On Thursday, The Paley Center for Media honored Alec Baldwin for his distinguished career and supportive efforts for the organization’s educational initiatives. The event included a discussion with The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon announcer and Saturday Night Live writer-producer Steve Higgins.

Baldwin made a point to discuss the current sexual misconduct allegations circulating in Hollywood. The actor admitted that he has been guilty of treating women poorly in the past. “I certainly have treated women in a very sexist way. I’ve bullied women. I’ve overlooked women. I’ve underestimated women. Not as a rule,” he said. “From time to time, I’ve done what a lot of men do, which is ...; when you don’t treat women the same way you treat men. You don’t. I’m from a generation where you really don’t and I’d like that to change. I really would like that to change.”

The Emmy Award-winning actor said that the way individuals function in the workplace needs to change, not just in Hollywood but everywhere. “I think it’s important for us to try to make the workplace and beyond not only comfortable and right and fair and appropriate but as productive, as well. I think a lot of what we’re dealing with within this issue is hurting our business. It’s making it less productive," Baldwin asserted.

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THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0767 -- Pictured: Actor Alec Baldwin during 'Tonight Show G'Readings' on November 2, 2017 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 02: Hilaria Baldwin and husband, actor Alec Baldwin attend A Paley Honors Luncheon in Alec's honor at The Paley Center for Media on November 2, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - OCTOBER 08: Co- Chair of the Hamptons International Film Festival Alec Baldwin introduces Annette Bening during A Conversation With� Annette Bening during Hamptons International Film Festival 2017 - Day Four on October 8, 2017 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Hamptons International Film Festival)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Kumail Nanjiani' Episode 1728 -- Pictured: Alec Baldwin as President Donald J. Trump during 'Trucker Rally Cold Open' on Saturday, October 14, 2017 in Studio 8H -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - OCTOBER 08: Chair Emeriti Toni Ross, Director Susan Lacy and Co- Chair of the Hamptons International Film Festival Alec Baldwin attend the photo call for 'Spielberg' at Bay Street Theater during Hamptons International Film Festival 2017 - Day Four on October 8, 2017 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Hamptons International Film Festival)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - OCTOBER 05: Co- Chair of the Hamptons International Film Festival Alec Baldwin speaks at the Opening Night Party during Hamptons International Film Festival 2017 - Day One on October 5, 2017 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Hamptons International Film Festival)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 04: Hilaria Thomas Baldwin and Alec Baldwin attend the National Geographic Encounter Blue Carpet VIP preview celebration on October 4, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0748 -- Pictured: Actor Alec Baldwin during 'Thank You Notes' on September 29, 2017 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: Actor Alec Baldwin (L) and Hilaria Baldwin attend the New York Philharmonic 106 All-Stars: Opening Gala at David Geffen Hall on September 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Alec Baldwin poses in the press room at the 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Actor Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin arrive at the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
SANTA MONICA, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Actor / producer Alec Baldwin speaks on a panel during the screening of 'Trophy' at Laemmle Monica Film Center on September 15, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Brandon Williams/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin attend The Hollywood Reporter and SAG-AFTRA Inaugural Emmy Nominees Night presented by American Airlines, Breguet, and Dacor at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills on September 14, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Hilaria Baldwin and actor Alec Baldwin attend the 17th Annual USTA Foundation Opening Night Gala at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 28, 2017 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: WEEKEND UPDATE -- Episode 103 -- Pictured: Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump during a 'Trump Phoenix Rally' on August 24, 2017 -- (Photo by: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 11: Alec Baldwin attends the Guild Hall 2017 Summer Gala Celebrating AVEDON'S AMERICA at Guild Hall on August 11, 2017 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
EAST HAMPTON, NEW YORK - AUGUST 11: Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin attend the Guild Hall 2017 Summer Gala Celebrating AVEDON'S AMERICA at Guild Hall on August 11, 2017 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Image)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - JULY 29: Actor Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin attend The Hamptons International Film Festival SummerDocs series screening of Trophy on July 29, 2017 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images for Hamptons International Film Festival)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - JULY 08: Actor Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin attend The Hamptons International Film Festival SummerDocs Series Screening of NOBODY SPEAK TRIALS OF THE FREE PRESS at The Baker House on July 8, 2017 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Steven Henry/Getty Images for Hamptons International Film Festival)
NEW YORK - JUNE 26: Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin are seen at Sunshine theater for the 'Blind' premiere on June 26, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 25: Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin attend 'Spike's One Night Only: Alec Baldwin' at The Apollo Theater on June 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by JP Yim/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 25: Alec Baldwin speaks onstage during Spike's 'Spike's One Night Only: Alec Baldwin' at The Apollo Theater on June 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Spike)
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“I knew of certain things, that there were rumors of things happening to people, but I didn’t necessarily know the scope, when you hear the hundreds and hundreds of women who are complaining about this,” the actor admitted while accepting the honor. “It’s been a very eye-opening experience for me personally. We’ve got to be vigilant in a new way to make sure that everybody is comfortable and that we get the job done together that we’re there to do.”

Read more: Alec Baldwin Addresses James Toback Relationship

During the conversation, Baldwin and Higgins discussed some of the actor’s career highlights, including his famous impression of Donald Trump on NBC's Saturday Night Live. When Higgins asked if Baldwin jumped at the opportunity to play the public figure turned president, he joked, “I was so there. I was like, ‘Oh, God, I hope that Lorne [Michaels] calls me.'” Baldwin admitted that he initially had no clue how in-demand the character would become. “I lived in a world where it was presumed he wasn’t gonna win,” he said. Because of this, Baldwin thought he was only committed to play the character for three episodes on the late-night sketch show.

Baldwin mentioned that he had only known Trump in passing prior to his portrayal. “He was always kind of a drive-by presence in Manhattan,” he said. While the two had attended the same events, Baldwin explained that Trump would often show up for the red-carpet photo opportunities and then leave before the socializing began. “It would have been nice to sit through dinner, just out of curiosity, with Trump and say, ‘Tell me what it was like growing up there in Jackson Heights, or wherever you’re from,’” Baldwin said. “You never got to talk to him. You never met him. He was a cypher.”

See photos of Alec Baldwin's wife, Hilaria:

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Hilaria Baldwin out and about
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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Hilaria Baldwin hosts the launch of the L.O.L. Surprise! Unboxing Video Booth and L.O.L. Surprise! Pets at Toys 'R' Us NYC on October 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for MGA Entertainment )
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Hilaria Baldwin and her daughter Carmen Baldwin host the launch of the L.O.L. Surprise! Unboxing Video Booth and L.O.L. Surprise! Pets at Toys 'R' Us NYC on October 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for MGA Entertainment )
EAST HAMPTON, NY - OCTOBER 05: Hilaria Baldwin and Violet Gaynor attend the Pre Opening Toast Poster Exhibition during Hamptons International Film Festival 2017 - Day One at Mulford Farm on October 5, 2017 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Hamptons International Film Festival)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 04: Hilaria Thomas Baldwin attends the National Geographic Encounter Blue Carpet VIP preview celebration on October 4, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 04: Hilaria Thomas Baldwin and Alec Baldwin attend the National Geographic Encounter Blue Carpet VIP preview celebration on October 4, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: Hilaria Baldwin attends the New York Philharmonic 106 All-Stars: Opening Gala at David Geffen Hall on September 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Actor Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin arrive at the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Hilaria Baldwin arrives at the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Alec Baldwin (L) and Hilaria Baldwin attend The Hollywood Reporter and SAG-AFTRA Inaugural Emmy Nominees Night presented by American Airlines, Breguet, and Dacor at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills on September 14, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for THR)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Hilaria Baldwin attends the 17th Annual USTA Foundation Opening Night Gala at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 28, 2017 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 12: Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin attend Author's Night 2017 to benefit the East Hampton Library on August 12, 2017 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/WireImage)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 11: Hilaria Baldwin attends the Guild Hall 2017 Summer Gala Celebrating AVEDON'S AMERICA at Guild Hall on August 11, 2017 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - JULY 29: Hilaria Baldwin attends The Hamptons International Film Festival SummerDocs series screening of Trophy on July 29, 2017 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images for Hamptons International Film Festival)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - JULY 08: Actor Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin attend The Hamptons International Film Festival SummerDocs Series Screening of NOBODY SPEAK TRIALS OF THE FREE PRESS at The Baker House on July 8, 2017 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Steven Henry/Getty Images for Hamptons International Film Festival)
NEW YORK - JUNE 26: Hilaria Baldwin is seen at Sunshine theater for the 'Blind' premiere on June 26, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 25: Hilaria Baldwin and Carmen Gabriela Baldwin speak onstage during 'Spike's One Night Only: Alec Baldwin' at The Apollo Theater on June 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Spike)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 12: Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin attend 'Julius Caesar' opening night at Delacorte Theater on June 12, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 05: Actor Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin attend the Hamptons International Film Festival 25th Anniversary Kick Off Event at 620 Loft & Garden on June 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for Hamptons International Film Festival )
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Hilaria Baldwin attends the 2017 National Dance Institute Gala at PlayStation Theater on April 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin attend the Tisch School Gala 2017 at Cipriani 42nd Street on April 3, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Carmen Gabriela Baldwin, Alec Baldwin, Leonardo Angel Charles Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin attend 'The Boss Baby' New York Premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on March 20, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 15: Hilaria Baldwin and Alec Baldwin speak at the Dacor Modernist Collection Launch at Samsung 837 on March 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Dacor)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 13: Hilaria Baldwin attends the Guild Hall Academy of the Arts Achievement Awards & Benefit Dinner at The Rainbow Room on March 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
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Baldwin said his lack of personal interactions with Trump didn’t leave him with much material to draw from when creating the character. “So when you come in to do the show, you just have him in the media. Although he’s pretty vivid in the media. He seems like himself,” the actor said on his inspiration for the impersonation. “I just wanted to make him as miserable as possible. He wins the election and he’s like, ‘God damn you people,’” Baldwin said in his best Trump impression.

Read more: Alec Baldwin Imagines President Trump's First Day at the White House (Exclusive Book Excerpt)

Another character Baldwin reflected on was that of Jack Donaghy of NBC’s critically acclaimed sitcom 30 Rock. “I got very lucky,” he said. The show never garnered impressive ratings, but managed to be a critical success. Baldwin won seven SAG Awards and two Emmy Awards for the role. “We were very lucky that the show was a critical darling," he said.

“We started in 2006. The [financial] crash came in 2008. It was very disruptive of the broadcast TV business and their ad rates and so forth,” recalled Baldwin. His theory regarding 30 Rock’s success was that is remained on the air as long as it did because most of its audience was in the entertainment industry. “People in the business watch the show. It’s not like other shows, which are huge hits but they might not be darlings in the industry.”

Baldwin also added that while he has acted in both dramas and comedies, he tends to choose his projects based on the material instead of the genre. “I love doing dramas if the material is worthwhile, but then I did the TV show with [30 Rock creator and star] Tina [Fey],” he said. “The writing is essential, and the writing was so good.” 

Read more: Alec Baldwin Expresses Concern Over Making Trump "Too Cuddly" in 'SNL' Impression

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