Baldwin vs. The Barista

Alec Baldwin Declares War on “Uptight Queen” Barista at NYC Starbucks

Alec Baldwin, who’s never been one to mince words, warned his Twitter followers today that there is an “uptight queen barrista” [sic] working at the Starbucks on Manhattan‘s Upper West Side. The perpetrator’s names is Jay and apparently he’s got an “attitude problem.”

Is “uptight queen” offensive when it’s used by a straight man? Or does the fact that Baldwin’s been a staunch ally to the LGBT community give him a free pass to use that term? And assuming Jay is actually gay, could he tweet that Baldwin is a curmudgeonly breeder with anger management issues—or would that insult the straight community?

Though Baldwin’s usual targets are pundits and politicians (and the occasional family member), is it fair for a celebrity with more than 317,649 followers, to target a private citizen who probably doesn’t even have a SAG card? Or does Jay deserve to have his hands slapped for being such a bitch to the 30 Rock stud, who still oozes an almost overwhelming sexiness at age 53?

If you’re in the neighborhood and want to tip Jay $20 for ruffling Alec’s feathers—or give him your two-cents’ worth—the Starbucks in question is at 2498 Broadway at 93rd Street, It’s open till 11pm every night. Oh, and can you pick us up an iced latte while you’re there?

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  • Cinesnatch

    Perhaps it’s an inside joke between Jay and Alec.

    If he is being serious, though, I’m not offended by Baldwin using the queen reference. However, I’d prefer his target be someone who isn’t making much more than minimum wage.

  • chrissie riot

    I’m not offended by the use but I think it’s bad form for Baldwin to call some one out on their sexuality like it’s part of the insult. Wtf does Jay’s being gay (assuming that he is) have to do with your experience?

  • scott

    Oh please let’s not start saying “The Q word”

  • geoff

    Overwhelming sexiness? The last time Baldwin exuded sexiness was when he was on Knott’s Landing!

  • Thomas Maguire

    “oozes an almost overwhelming sexiness at age 53?”

    He oozes something and it’s not sexiness.

  • Steve

    @chrissie riot: How do you figure “queen” specifies sexulity? Not all cross-dressers are gay you know. Plus, maybe he meant something along the lines of DRAMA QUEEN instead DRAG QUEEN. This article simply assumes that Baldwin was referring to a cross-dressing man and pretty much assumed that said man is also gay, neither of which seems to have been confirmed, so I’ll hold any opinions for when those facts are proven.

  • Chitown Kev

    @chrissie riot:

    Because “uptight queen” paints a far better picture than “uptight barista.”

    Hell, you never know, that uptight queen barista JAY could make this his own schtick; people could flock to that Starbucks just for his uptight queen-ness.

  • QJ201

    Baldwin should have just said…”girl get over yourself.”

  • Thomas Maguire

    @Chitown Kev: Right? He could get his own reality show on Bravo!

  • Reason

    Actually in all honesty, there is nothing worse than an uptight Bitchy queen. I have to agree with him.

  • Kev C

    Alex plays a gay man in real life.

  • Dallas David

    Maybe it’s a Real queen, like from one of the Scandanavian countries. Or the blood descendant from the Czars, or from China or Burma.

    Never know . . .

  • ewe

    Being an open minded heterosexual who says gay people are equal to you is not something i have to give out gold stars for. Do straight people give a fuck if i think they are equal to me based on their sexual orientation. He should be more conscious of what he tweets. If he doesn’t feel he is being homophobic then i guess it’s ok but this shit about him being gay user friendly is poppycock.

  • ewe

    I have absolutely no doubt that Alec Baldwin is also an uptight queen.

  • Jeff in NYC

    Well, most of the baristas in Chelsea and the UWS *ARE* uptight queens

  • hf2hvit

    @Steve: Marcus Bachmann is a QUEEN and we all know he’s “straight”

  • ewe

    @Jeff in NYC: I don’t go to Starbucks all that much but i always have friendly service.

  • George412

    I had the pleasure of being seated beside Alec at a dinner 5 years ago. He was kind, smart and entertaining. There is no question that he knew I was gay after complimenting him on his chest hair and how it has evolved from THE DOCTORS, KNOT’S LANDING, DRESS GRAY to 30 ROCK. He was flattered and not offended. After 2 hours with him I was so happy to have met a real and grounded celeb. If Alec says the guy is an “uptight queen” then I’m sure the guy is one.

  • Double Standards

    This is why we get no respect.

    Homophobia is homophobia — either a statement is homophobic or it isn’t.

    If Rick Santorum had tweeted this, the same people fawning over Baldwin would be screaming for blood. GLAAD would put out two dozen press releases on the tweet, blaming Sontorum’s tweet for the suicide of Tyler Clementi and demanding he spend the next two years in tolerance camp.

    Look, if you want statements to be unacceptable, they have to be unacceptable — always. Saying “go Alec” for something you’d condemn some asshat Republican for saying simply makes anti-homophobia campaigns look like cynical manipulation — feeding into the right wing’s talk-track.

  • Queen for a day

    I go to that same Starbucks, as it is right near my place. Alec is 100% right about this “Jay”. I have worked in the restaurant industry for years and this guy is one of a very short list that has really gotten under my skin.

  • Dallas David

    @ewe: I always get friendly service at Starbucks, but I don’t really like the coffee. It always tastes like it’s burned, or something.

    7-11 makes good coffee. I wish Starbucks would make coffee like them.

  • TooC

    William Baldwin is the hottest and coolest of the brothers. I can’t stand Alec, but he’s so pro-gay I won’t take offense at this. But was this incident at a Starbucks really that important for a multi-millionaire to make a fuss about? Isn’t there more going on in his life? I know actors are notoriously stupid (ever watch them when they have celebrity-Jeopardy? The dumb answers they give to already-dumbed-down questions is cringe-worthy), but I can’t believe Baldwin would care that much. I bet he’ trying to do that “queen” a favor by getting him some kind of attention or something.

  • Johann

    The way a person acts could earn him many different names as a way of speech. It does not necessarily mean that a person is exactly what is said. Many butch married men often act like little girls! Sure you understand that. So, do not make such an issue of this – it is no big deal just becasue Alec said so.

  • Joseph

    Oh come on Alec let’s pick on someone your own size. Just because you’re rich and famous you get to take out your bad experience with a minimum wage clerk in the national press. I sometimes run across a clerk or barista who gives me bad service but I don’t have a venue to air it in. You know the poor kid isn’t making enough money to live in your neighborhood and you want him fired. I have lost any respect I did have for Alec Baldwin.

  • Spike

    I hope the next uptight queen that serves this jerk a beverage adds a little something to his drink.

  • Robert in NYC

    Dallas David, No. 21, I too have found their coffee leaving a burnt taste in my mouth. Someone is over-roasting the beans I think.

    That aside, there is nothing worse than a bitchy attitude queen. I don’t mind the word as much as I do “fag”. I’m willing to overlook this and give Alec a pass.

  • Mav

    Do effeminate gay men really take offense to being called queens? I always thought it was kind of cool as far as epithets go, denoting regality, power, and feminine grace. Hasn’t “queen” effectively been taken back?

    Even when they used the word against the character Kurt Hummel in Glee (“Prom Night”), he did the classy thing I would expect any self-respecting queen to do and turned it around on the crowd – “Eat your heart out, Kate Middleton.”

    Alec Baldwin seems like a pretty cool guy, he just calls ’em like he sees ’em. Don’t want to get called an uptight queen on the interwebs? Don’t act like one in public. Easy peasy.

    If Jay tweeted back, “Stop being a curmudgeonly breeder”, I would laugh my ass off. And so would Alec Baldwin, I’d imagine.

  • Nadda

    @Mav: “denoting regality, power, and feminine grace” ? No. For real female royalty, maybe, but for gay men it’s only used to describe silly people.

  • tookie

    I like going to Starbucks, but it would be bad if an uptight queen was rude while serving my drink. Alec Baldwin is awesome. Not everything requires this sand in the panties kind of attitude from our community.

  • Dan Cobb

    Uptight queen!? Hey man, it’s like obscenity… you know it when you see it!
    I can completely picture how this uptight queen behaved. If you’re going into
    any Starbucks, I would say that your chances are about 1 in 3 that you’re going to
    encounter an uptight queen. Barrista is the job of choice for the uptight queen.
    And no one can dis another person more brutally and more inhumanely than an uptight
    queen. They’re a pool of misery!

  • Dan Cobb

    Seems like Alec was talking like a gay guy would! If you encountered a bitchy queen
    in a Starbucks, wouldn’t you complain about the “attitude queen” too?? I know I would.
    Glad to hear that a macho Hollywood star is so secure in his sexuality that he’s
    comfortable using a term that really is a gay term. He’s comfortable and relaxed
    using a phrase from the gay lexicon. That’s a boatload better than most straight guys
    who are such nervous nellies about appearing in any way to be familiar with gay culture or the gay lexicon. If nothing else, Baldwin is enormously confident and secure in his
    own person –that’s what makes for the sexiness. In an era where most men are mincingly
    afraid to appear either gay or anti-gay or sexist or whatever, Baldwin just lets it all
    hang out. [And yes, he is a sexy guy –very sexy in my book! Would love to have a roll in the hay with ‘im!!]

  • CY

    ARE a lot of Starbucks coffee-pourers (I can barely get myself to even type that “barrista” word) “uptight queens”? In NYC and elsewhere? I’m realizing I don’t even know because I never go into Starbucks (I don’t like that coffee “burnt” flavor) but I have nothing against them.

  • dancobbb


    You wrote: “This is why we get no respect. Homophobia is homophobia — either a statement is homophobic or it isn’t. If Rick Santorum had tweeted this, the same people fawning over Baldwin would be screaming for blood.”

    I think you are missing the point entirely! The fact is that Santorum would never have tweeted those words because he has kept such a huge distance from the gay community and from gay people that he would be NOT familiar with such a phrase as an “attitude queen”. To him, such a phrase is like alien-talk! Baldwin on the other hand is obviously comfortable enough around gay men that he has spent time with gay guys, enough to have learned some of the gay lexicon, like the phrase: “attitude queen”. You go Alec!

  • dancobbb

    Spike wrote: “I hope the next uptight queen that serves this jerk a beverage adds a little something to his drink.”

    Isn’t that what uptight queens normally do??

  • dancobbb

    Sorry, but some gay guys –especially the attitude queens– are just plain miserable people and they insist on telegraphing their misery to all those whom they encounter.
    They’re antagonistic, rude, dissolute and ornery for no apparent reason. They behave
    in such a manner as to make the whole world their enemy. And the whole world often
    obliges. Jay, you reap what you sow.

  • Little Kiwi

    truth be told, i’ve always found the most obnoxious, irritating and pathetic gay men to be the cowards who adopt the faux-macho posturing and think nobody can tell that they’re in Man Drag 24/7.

    a world of gay men wishing they could “pass for white” – who seem to make a sport of boring everyone senseless.

  • Kim

    Oh yeah because no one on here has ever called any gay man a “queen”

  • ewe

    Maybe oh maybe Alec Baldwin actually likes Jay. (if you know what i mean? wink)

  • ewe

    To all those who thinks Alec Baldwin is some shining beacon may i remind you of his ugly treatment of his daughter on the phone when HE THOUGHT NO ONE ELSE WOULD BE LISTENING. I don’t think Alec Baldwin is anything but an overweight temper tantrum.

  • ewe

    @Robert in NYC: oh come on now. Can you imagine what a bitchy uptight queen Ms. Baldwin is when she doesn’t get her fucking way with a snap of a finger? Here is the evidence. There is no evidence however of what he is saying about Jay the barista.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    What if he had tweeted about an “uppity black barrista”, would we all be giving him a pass? Just because someone may not be anti-gay, does not give them the right to use someone’s possible sexuality as a slur against them, or their character.

  • pazmateo

    It’s Alec Baldwin. I would never take this offensively. He’s super liberal and clearly has a ton of gay friends which DOES make it okay. If Chuck Norris said this it WOULD be different. Period.

  • Tookitooki

    @ewe: Who cares about that?

  • ewe

    @Tookitooki: nobody i guess. But when we talk about alec Baldwin we are not referring to his sexual orientation first thing up. Alec Baldwin however is relating jays attitude to all homosexuality and i see right through all his PC bullshit. He is a bigot. no pass from me. His true self always emerges through his temper tantrums. It’s obvious. Having said that it is definitely not the end of the world because Alec Baldwin is no more important than any other bitchy uptight queen.

  • Mike in Asheville

    Lucky Jay, he is now eligible for A-List New York!

  • never say the n-word ... unless invited

    to all you uptight queens, cut Alec some slack …

    I’ll never forget being invited into a recording studio with a veteran team of sound engineers/producers – 3 black guys and 1 white guy.

    After a particular bass track, the white guy turned to the black producer in major frustration and said, “n****h’, this new Pro-Tools shit is fucked-up, we lost the last track ….”

    I must have looked as shocked/scared as I felt, because the producer turned to me with a slightly evil smile and said, “that dude’s an honorary n****h … don’t think you could’ve say that and walked out of here alive.” (Not that I would have ever said it.)

    Alec has been more vocal and supportive of gay rights and marriage equality than a lot of gays I know … he’s an awesome honorary gay queen who just happens to be straight.

  • TooC

    @never say the n-word … unless invited: I agree with you that Alec Baldwin is gay-supportive, but again I wonder why a rich famous guy would bother doing something so small as to tweet over a nasty coffee barrista. I just find it a mystery. Barristas are a step below bartenders, even. Don’t you just kind of forget them when you walk out the door? Whatever.

  • never say the n-word ... unless invited

    @TooC: I pretty much agree with you, but this whole incident shows that even a rich and famous guy can get stuck in line with the rest of us and deal barristas (maitre’d’s, bank tellers, postal workers, etc) who really should have a “Grande, soy, caramel macchiato, no foam, stirred, with whip, extra caramel, double-cupped” dumped on their head. (As should the customer who ordered such a drink.)

    But how can you lump bartenders in this with group?! Bartenders are sexy awesome. Friendly or aloof, I want them. There’s just something about a guy shaking martinis … grrrrrr.

  • espy

    I mean, what’s so problematic about calling bitch a bitch.

  • Capt. Obvious

    @Double Standards: Does the word “context” mean anything to you? Of course it would be a different situation if Rick Santorum tweeted this because we all know what his position on homosexuality is. If someone who is gay-friendly uses the term “queen” we also know where he is coming from.

  • TooC

    @never say the n-word … unless invited: Understood. You’re probably right about this revealing that almost EVERYBODY has to deal with annoying workers, and I guess it’s especially annoying if someone has had a bad day already. The straw that breaks the….. Thnx. But I’ll disagree with you about bartenders. They’re the same as barristas, only they think we should throw them two bucks just for opening the cap off a beer, too. Which is far easier than making one of those tripple dipple half-caf no-caf hot grande foamy matte latte—–(lol—-you said it better).

  • Adrian Acosta

    I wonder how much Starbucks paid Alec to mention their 93 and bway location. 317,649 followers at a $1 per follower, not a bad gig.

  • ewe

    @Capt. Obvious: What’s all this talk about gay friendly bullshit? There are countless people who go around saying they are open minded but do not want more than one gay person in their lives. “Look oh look. look at me. I am so modern. I have a gay friend and i don’t say anything negative because i am so politically correct and i should be given so much gratitude because i think da gayz are equal in all ways except of course if my kid becomes one.” oink oink. Since when can Politically correct public figures get away with bashing gay people? Maybe Jay the barista had a bad fucking day and couldn’t fucking take off because he only makes 9 fucking dollars a fucking hour. Maybe he lost a loved one. Maybe Jay the barista doesn’t know he was a queen if he is a queen and maybe you motherfuckers should give jay the barista half the fucking pass you seem to be giving Alec fucking tantrum Baldwin.

  • ewe

    Maybe Jay the Barista is one of those hetero metrosexuals which would definitely make Alec Baldwin a bigot. Right?

  • ewe

    Once upon a time interracial marriages were not considered “traditional.”

  • ewe

    Alec Baldwin is not getting elevated to some elderly statesman on any gay topic or platform. He has been putting his foot in his mouth for decades. STFU Alec Baldwin. He better apologize to Jay and every gay person as well.

  • ewe

    If i was Jay the Barista i would get a pro bono attorney to file a lawsuit against Alec Baldwin for making him feel unsafe in his work environment. Now he may feel he cannot go to his place of business without any number of repercussions occurring all because of Alec Baldwins notoriety and reach to so many anonymous people.

  • Jollysocks

    So where is the public outrage when Kathy Griffin, Lady Gaga, or Cher uses the term “Queen”? Why is it that they get a pass but a straight MALE ally does not?

    Oh poor Jay the Barista! People can get over it, he works at a Starbucks in NYC not in a sweatshop in Indonesia. There are angry queens like Jay at Starbucks everywhere I’m glad one of them just got slapped down big time. Who cares if he gets fired? He should be fired anyway if his attitude is that bad.

  • Little Kiwi

    Oh Jollysocks, still bitter about the fact that daddy never though you were a real man ;-)

  • Capt. Obvious

    @ewe: Honey, it sounds like Baldwin wasn’t the only one throwing a tantrum…

  • Reed Braden


  • Ambrose

    Oh yeah, don’t you just love it when a multimillionaire stands up to one of those upity minimum wage service workers? Me neither.

  • Bam

    What matters is the context and intent. Yes, it DOES make a huge difference that Alec Baldwin is a friend of the gay community. The very fact that he’s comfortable enough to use gay vocabulary shows it wasn’t a homophobic statement at all. Quite the opposite. I don’t expect my straight friends to sugar-coat their language around me or treat me any differently than anyone out of fear of me accusing them of being homophobes. I wouldn’t be friends with them in the first place if their values were homophobic. I don’t need to give them a “pass” to use language that I use myself. Now it’s a totally different situation if the person is using terminology specifically as hate speech against gay people. It’s not that difficult to tell the difference. Those that are quick to scream homophobia even at our allies are not helping anyone and actually turn people against us. All too often such people stir up needless drama just for their own ego gratification. And even worse are those who exploit the label simply to use it as a weapon against someone they dislike. So pick your battles wisely and stand by your allies.

  • RT

    Straight men get to snap back at their bitchy baristas if the barista is Mary.
    Straight women do it, gay men do it. Gay women, I don’t know why they do to their bitchy bariastas.

  • ewe

    @Capt. Obvious: Don’t you honey me you uptight queen. lol

  • ewe

    @Bam: FYI: Being called a queen much less an uptight queen is not usually a complement by anyone gay or straight.

  • Double Standard

    If it’s OK for Alec Baldwin to use a homophobic bigot term like “queen” as an epithet, simply because he supports gay rights, then it also would be acceptable for him to use a racist bigot term like the n-word, simply because he supports racial equality.

    Hell, you can even use the same argument his apologists are using now — “gay guys call each other queens.” Many urban black men call each other the n-word too — so I guess it’s hunky dory for Baldwin to post that next, right?

    Self loathing. It kills.

  • Mk_Ultra_Again

    @Double Standard:
    You are really reaching with that statement. I agree – self loathing does kill.

  • fredo777

    Feh. I’m not at all offended by this. I look at it as if one of my own straight-but-not-narrow friends + myself were being snarky about an uptight queen we encountered. It’s not so much “this guy is gay…let’s make fun of him for it” as “I’m in the know about how some gay men refer to others who are being bitchy”. As anyone who posts on this very blog knows, “queen” comes up fairly often when we’re looking for a go-to insult about other commenters who are being catty/nasty/bitter. This is a non-issue.

  • fredo777

    @Double Standard: “If it’s OK for Alec Baldwin to use a homophobic bigot term like “queen” as an epithet…”

    How often do you really hear straight homophobes use the word “queen” to describe a gay (or perceived as gay) person? Really?

  • ewe

    @Little Kiwi: you have some major daddy issues. yo mama this yo daddy that yo sista here yo brotha there. Hightail it back to Canada.

  • Little Kiwi

    actually EWE, i’m not the one with the issues.

    as shown here:

    clearly you are.

    i’m stunned you didn’t find the time in your post to me to talked about “O-bummer” again.

    wassamater? forget? we get it, dude. mommy and daddy hate blacks, and hate your gay ass, and you think you can win their affection by hating blacks as well.


  • ewe

    @Little Kiwi: Don’t be expecting me to go to any other sites you recommend. As i said you have daddy issues, a self hating homophobia complex and you are a racist vicariously living through others. Yo mama this yo daddy that yo sista here yo brotha there. Go to school.

  • Daniel

    I think he’s still sexy

    But, uh, I’m quite a bit too young.

  • booth

    @Dallas David: ROFL……

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