alec-baldwin-emmys.jpgAfter Fox producers cut his joke about News Corp. exec Rupert Murdoch, Alec Baldwin is canceling his scheduled appearance at the 2011 Emmy Awards.

In the skit, Baldwin plays a fictional TV studio president, and the scene in question reportedly had the 30 Rock star asking whether Mr. Murdoch was listening in on a phone call, which pokes fun at the hacking scandal that tarnished News Corp.'s reputation earlier this year. So what's the big deal? Turns out Fox is owned by News Corp, and a spokesperson for the network tells the Wall Street Journal that the segment was not cut because it mentioned Murdoch, but rather because they take the hacking scandal seriously and found the comment to be in “poor taste.”

Leonard Nimoy will replace Baldwin in the segment, and a source close to the actor says he canceled his appearance because he felt that cutting the joke would disrupt the comedic timing of the whole skit. “I did a short Emmy pretape a few days ago. Now they tell me News Corp cut the funniest line,” Baldwin tweeted last week.