By Grady Smith
September 18, 2011 at 08:17 PM EDT
Credit: Daria Cantatore/Getty Images

Alec Baldwin has pulled out of tonight’s Emmy telecast after a joke about News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch was cut from a segment that he had recorded to open the broadcast. EW has confirmed the story, originally reported by Deadline.

On Thursday, Baldwin had tweeted “I did a short Emmy pretape a few days ago. Now they tell me NewsCorp may cut the funniest line.”

Apparently, Fox was uncomfortable including a joke that Baldwin made that had to do with Murdoch and the much-publicized phone-hacking scandal, and they had it cut from Baldwin’s script. When EW talked to Fox, the network was very clear that the decision to cut the joke was made at the Fox level — not by anyone at News Corp. Fox also claims that the reason the joke was cut was not because of Murdoch’s name, but because it was in poor taste to make light of the serious allegations surrounding the phone-hacking scandal.

When the joke ended up on the cutting room floor, Baldwin no longer wanted his segment to be part of the broadcast and Fox has consequently re-shot the clip with Leonard Nimoy. Today, Baldwin tweeted, “Fox did kill my NewsCorp hacking joke. Which sucks bc I think it would have made them look better. A little.”

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