Alec Baldwin has quit Twitter after sparking a backlash with a comment he made about Gillian Anderson “switching accents”.
The 30 Rock star had shared a link to an article about Anderson, who is American but plays British characters in shows such as Sex Education and The Crown, in which she stars as Margaret Thatcher.
“Switching accents? That sounds... fascinating,” said Baldwin, which was apparently a reference to the controversy his wife Hilaria was embroiled in last year when she was accused of faking her Spanish heritage.
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His comment did not go down well with fans, who took to social media to say that the situation with Anderson was “no way comparable” to the situation with Hilaria.
Baldwin’s response was to deactivate his Twitter account, saying it was filled with “a lot of haters”.
The actor – who has quit Twitter several times in the past - announced his decision in a long video on Instagram.
“Of course you can’t do any irony on Twitter. You can’t do any irony in the United States anymore, because the United States is such an uptight, stressed-out place and such an unpleasant place right now,” he told fans.
The 62-year-old said he was a “huge fan” of X-Files star Anderson and that his comment was intended to “illustrate the point that multicultural expressions of anyone... that’s your business”.
He added that he had “not meant at all to be offensive”.
“Twitter is one-third interesting posts… one-third tedious, uninteresting, puerile nonsense, and then it’s one-third, or more maybe, just abject hatred and malice and unpleasantness,” he said.
The Baldwins were in the headlines in December when Hilaria was accused of faking a Spanish accent.
The yoga instructor is often said to have been born in Majorca, but after questions were raised over her fluctuating accent, she posted an Instagram video to say that she was born in Boston and sometimes called Hillary.
The pair both shared snaps of new daughter Lucia on social media.
The couple are also parents to daughter Carmen, seven, and sons Rafael Thomas, five, Leonardo, four, and Romeo, two. Alec also has daughter Ireland from his previous relationship with Kim Basinger.
Additional reporting from PA.
Watch: Alec Baldwin and his wife Hilaria welcome baby number six