Alec Baldwin is doubling down in his defence of Felicity Huffman and others implicated in the college admissions scandal.
On Wednesday, the actor ruffled feathers on Twitter when he declared, "I don’t think anyone involved in the college fraud cases should go to prison." Baldwin said he thought the defendants, which include Huffman and Lori Loughlin, should do community service and pay fines.
"My heart goes out to Felicity, Bill Macy and their family," he added.
I don’t think anyone involved in the college fraud cases should go to prison. That includes past cases as well.— HABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) October 16, 2019
Community service, fines, yes.
But prison time, no.
My heart goes out to Felicity, Bill Macy and their family.
Baldwin, 61, was immediately called out by his followers, and he responded to one person who said his opinion was "tone deaf."
"The demonisation of wealth in this country is mind blowing," the Saturday Night Live actor replied.
"A country built on both freedoms and commerce. Now, all success is scrutinised. Merely to succeed, especially financially, invites scrutiny, judgment, abuse."
Community service is better.— HABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) October 16, 2019
The demonization of wealth in this country is mind blowing.
A country built on both freedoms and commerce. Now, all success is scrutinized. Merely to succeed, especially financially, invites scrutiny, judgment, abuse.
The response didn't sit well with some on Twitter.
Or, just spitballing here, maybe they were demonized not because of their wealth but because they broke the law?— Michael Colton (@mikecolton) October 16, 2019
I think it is the abuse of wealth that people dislike... they used their wealth to illegally buy their kids way into college, they should not be allowed to use their wealth to buy their way out of punishment for breaking the law.— melissa halsey (@meli1168) October 16, 2019
The threat and fear of consequences as a crime deterrent is still powerful for the vast majority of people. However, not in this instance. And that is precisely why jail is necessary. They knew the risk of jail existed. Why inoculate them from their own conscious choice?— the sinner (@HDSlim103) October 16, 2019
Wealth is demonized and scrutinized today because the wealthy use their wealth to create advantages and opportunities for themselves. This puts others at a disadvantage. If the wealthy wanted to play by the same rules as the rest of us it wouldn't be demonized as much.— The8thSage (@mjhollenbeck) October 16, 2019
Jail is necessary.— Keeping it 100! (@Blk_UrbanKitty) October 16, 2019
Huffman pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud conspiracy for paying $15,000 (£11,638) for someone to increase her daughter’s SAT scores. She reported for sentencing Tuesday at a federal correctional facility in California, where she will serve 14 days behind bars. The Desperate Housewives star must also complete 250 hours of community service and pay a fine of $30,000 (£23,276).
While some argued her prison sentence was too light, the prosecutor in the Operation Varsity Blues case called the two weeks "very reasonable." He also praised how the star handled herself.
"She took responsibility almost immediately," Andrew Lelling, whose office is prosecuting the case, said. “She was contrite, did not try to minimise her conduct. I think she handled it in a very classy way.”
Huffman has found support from her peers. Dana Delany, Eva Longoria and “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry have all publicly stood by the actress in the wake of the scandal.