You know when the flight attendants tell you to turn off all electronic devices prior to takeoff? They're not kidding -- even if you happen to be a star.
Actor Alec Baldwin was removed from an American Airlines flightleaving Los Angeles for New York on Tuesday when he was apparently too engrossed in a game of Zynga's "Words With Friends" to power down his iPad.
"Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving. #nowonderamericaairisbankrupt," the actor tweeted.
The incident caused a one-hour delay in the flight and kicked off a flurry of Internet chatter. Baldwin's own Twitter feed has been pulsing with caustic comments about his removal.
"Last flight w American," the "30 Rock" star tweeted Tuesday afternoon, "Where retired Catholic school gym teachers from the 1950s find jobs as flight attendants."
More diplomatically, Baldwin's spokesman Matthew Hilzik said in a statement to MSNBC that the actor is "so in love with 'Words with Friends' that he would risk getting thrown off a flight to play." He also confirmed that Baldwin was re-booked on a later American Airlines flight to New York.
Indeed, the big winner in all this seems to be Words With Friends publisher Zynga, who've just gotten a nice bit of free PR and an unexpected celebrity spokesman. The immensely popular game is a bit like Scrabble, challenging players to build words and outscore opponents. Asked by a follower to explain the game's appeal, Baldwin tersely tweeted: "It's…well…addicting."
According to Latimes.com, American Airlines is looking into the situation. A spokesperson said that, due to customer privacy concerns, American Airlines does not comment on "something that might or might not have happened."