Actor Alec Baldwin has been suspended from his MSNBC talk show after hurling anti-gay abuse against a New York photographer.

The former 30 Rock star was approached by paparazzi on Thursday where he was caught on camera calling one photographer a “cocksucking fag.”

In a statement published on the MSNBC website, Baldwin said:-

I would like to address the comments I made this past week.

I did not intend to hurt or offend anyone with my choice of words, but clearly I have – and for that I am deeply sorry. Words are important. I understand that, and will choose mine with great care going forward. What I said and did this week, as I was trying to protect my family, was offensive and unacceptable. Behavior like this undermines hard-fought rights that I vigorously support. I understand “Up Late” will be taken off the schedule for tonight and next week.

I want to apologize to my loyal fans and to my colleagues at msnbc – both for my actions and for distracting from their good work. Again, please accept my apology.

A video of the incident was posted on to TMZ which showed the actor shouting: “Get away from my wife and baby with the camera.” After chasing one photographer away, he then walks back to his car before shouting the anti-gay slurs.

Following the incident, the LGBT advocacy group GLAAD condemned Baldwin on his “pattern” of anti-gay slurs.

Spokesman Rich Ferraro said in a statement: “Mr Baldwin can’t lend his support for equality on paper, while degrading gay people in practice.”

“It’s clearly time he listens to the calls from so many LGBT people and allies to end this pattern of anti-gay slurs.”

Among other messages, he posted: “When did all this Breitbart libertarian trash become the defenders of gay rights?”

Later, he backtracked issuing a more placated and formal series of tweets, in which he eventually cornered himself and apologised for using the term “cocksucker,” which he claims he was not aware was an anti-gay slur:

In June, GLAAD gave Baldwin the benefit of the doubt after he apologised in an open letter calling a Daily Mail writer a “toxic little queen”:

“My ill-advised attack on George Stark of the Daily Mail had absolutely nothing to do with issues of anyone’s sexual orientation.

“My anger was directed at Mr Stark for blatantly lying and disseminating libelous information about my wife and her conduct at our friend’s funeral service. As someone who fights against homophobia, I apologize.”

In a series of tweets, Baldwin abused Mr Stark, urging his followers to “straighten out this f****ing little bitch.”