Grocer regroups after dropping Alec Baldwin like bad apple
Wegmans, a popular grocery chain headquartered in Rochester, New York has decided against sacking Alec Baldwin as its spokesperson on the heels of the actor's recent mile-high misbehavior.
A Rochester, New York-based grocery chain says its "sorry" for sacking Emmy-winning 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin like a bad batch of bologna over his mile-high meltdown last month.
In the past 24 hours, supermarket giant Wegmans has fired -- and re-hired -- Baldwin. And it's all because of the controversy that erupted in the wake of the hot-tempered star's behavior aboard an American Airlines flight out of LAX.
In case you haven't been keeping up with your celebrity gossip (shame on you), allow us to bring you up to speed. (Try to keep up. There'll be a quiz on this later.)
On Dec. 6, Alec earned himself a boot from an aircraft for playing the iPad game "Words with Friends" while the plane was still parked at the gate.
Apparently, the outspoken liberal was smack dab in the middle of a very important match-up when he was "rudely" interrupted by one of those pesky flight attendants.
Don't you just hate when that happens?
Baldwin responded to the fracas with several tweets blasting American Airlines:
"Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving. #nowonderamericaairisbankrupt."
The NBC star went on to escalate the war over "Words" by adopting the hashtag "#theresalwaysunited."
American Airlines stood by their decision to kick Baldwin to the curb -- or in this case the tarmac. Company officials said Alec was in violation of flight mandate, which requires that passengers discontinue use of their mobile devices until take off.
Alec later spoofed the incident for an episode of Saturday Night Live.
Ah -- which brings us back to Wegmans.
On Wednesday, a rep for Wegmans Food Markets Inc. confirmed that Baldwin's role as an ambassador for the chain was officially dunzo. The grocery chain decided to yank all TV spots featuring Baldwin after customers complained about his behavior aboard that fateful flight.
The Baldwin spots in question were filmed for Wegmans' 2010 holiday campaign. The ads were shown for two weeks of a three-week holiday run, but were discontinued after the airline incident.
"We had perhaps a couple of dozen complaints and we take complaints from our customers seriously," said Wegmans spokesperson Jo Natale. "We enjoyed working with Mr. Baldwin, but under the circumstances, we thought it best to discontinue the ads."
Sounds pretty final, right? Wrong!
By early Wednesday afternoon, the company had completely changed positions. Wegmans' execs now believe they might have made a slight boo-boo by putting the kibosh on Alec's ads a week early.
Just take a look at the public apology they just issued to Alec, via TMZ:
"We regret ending the Alec Baldwin holiday commercials one week earlier than planned in response to a couple of dozen complaints. We have decided to run the commercials again, effective immediately. Clearly, many more people support Alec, as evidenced by the hundreds and hundreds of tweets, emails and phone calls we have received. We enjoyed working with Alec Baldwin and his mom, Carol and would do it again. We appreciate all the kind things they have said about Wegmans and respect the good work they do for communities."
It sounds like someone doesn't want to end up as a side-splitter in an SNL sketch!