Fox Kills Alec Baldwin's Phone Hacking Emmy Joke; Baldwin Pulls Out Of Ceremony

Rupert Murdoch's Fox network cut a joke by Alec Baldwin about the company's phone hacking scandal out of a skit for Sunday's Emmy Awards, causing Baldwin to pull out of the ceremony.

Deadline was the first to report the news, and Baldwin confirmed it on Twitter.

"Fox did kill my NewsCorp hacking joke," Baldwin wrote. "Which sucks bc I think it would have made them look better. A little."

Baldwin had made a reference to the omission in an earlier tweet, writing, "I did a short Emmy pretape a few days ago. Now they tell me NewsCorp may cut the funniest line. #NewsCorphumorlessaswellascorrupt."

Deadline says that the joke came during the planned opening sketch for the Emmys, in which Baldwin was to play a fictional head of a television network. News Corp. told the site that it cut the joke because it didn't want to make light of the phone hacking scandal which has engulfed Murdoch's company.

It's not the first time that a Murdoch property has been accused of going soft on the scandal. The Wall Street Journal was heavily criticized for an editorial strongly defending News Corp.