Alec Baldwin criticised over ‘shallow’ request for fans to follow wife Hilaria on Instagram for her birthday

Alec Baldwin has divided fans after begging his Instagram followers to also follow his wife Hilaria Baldwin on the social media platform in honour of her birthday.

On Thursday 5 January, a day before Hilaria’s 39th birthday, the Boss Baby star took to Instagram to share a video with his request. In the clip, the 64-year-old asked that his followers consider following his wife on Instagram as a “birthday gift” or “even just [a] gesture”.

“Hey everybody … It’s January 5th, the day before my wife’s birthday. It’s my wife Hilaria’s birthday tomorrow, January 6th … I would like to ask you a small favour, and that is, my wife, it seems like she is just centimetres shy of one million followers on Instagram,” Baldwin began.

As of 6 January, Hilaria has more than 995,000 followers on Instagram.

“I would like to ask you, as a birthday gift, or even just a gesture to my wife, would you follow her on Instagram?” the actor continued. “Obviously, I love my wife, obviously, I’m crazy about my wife, obviously blah, blah, blah, all the things we all say about the people we’re in love with. My wife is the most fabulous person I’ve met in my whole life, that’s true, that’s true. I would like as many of you as possible, I would like a great surge of people, to follow my wife on Instagram, to say happy birthday to my wife. Would you do that for me? Would you follow my wife on Instagram? Please? Thanks.”

In the caption of the post, Baldwin reiterated that 6 January is his wife’s birthday, before adding: “May I ask you a favour?” and tagging Hilaria.

The unconventional and “shallow” request from the actor has confused his fans, with many questioning why the couple cares about Instagram follower counts.

“You have to be joking. This weird shallow request makes me want to unfollow both of you!!” one person commented, while another said: “No! What a pathetic, trendy thing to propose to strangers. Follow? Dear god man. Grow up.”

“This is beyond bizarre and pathetic,” another comment reads.

Someone else questioned whether Baldwin made the video at his wife’s request, and if reaching a million followers is what is actually important to the yoga instructor on her birthday.

“She is a very special person and so are you? But is this what’s important to her? Followers?” they asked.

“Alec, use your social collateral wisely. This is not the best way to leverage it and it says a lot about what matters to her,” another person wrote. “This is not healthy on so many levels. I have the ultimate respect for you personally and professionally.”

In response to the video, others pointed out that there are many more important things than social media followers, and that they would have respected Baldwin more if he’d asked his followers to do something that could benefit others in celebration of his wife’s birthday, such as donate to charity.

“I would have respected a request to assist a charity to honour her birthday rather than concern ourselves about his wife’s Insta followers tally!” one person wrote. “Aren’t there more pressing things in the world you could address?”

Another person said: “No, but I will make a donation to a woman’s shelter in her name. Placing importance [on a] million ‘Likes’ on Instagram seems absurd.”

The actor’s request also prompted some to jokingly mock Baldwin’s wife over her infamous heritage scandal. The wellness expert previously found herself embroiled in controversy after fans accused her of pretending to be Spanish.

“Are you referencing centimetres instead of inches as a nod to her Spanish heritage?” one person joked, while another said:“Once she stops pretending she’s Spanish.”

“I think highlighting a charitable cause would be much classier and more admirable, but I know she’s still trying to make money as a ‘Spanish’ influencer,” someone else suggested.

Hilaria apologised for the controversy surrounding her heritage in February 2021, when she admitted that she “should have been more clear”. At the time, she noted that her parents raised her and her brother “with two cultures, American and Spanish,” and that she feels a “true sense of belonging to both”.

Although the majority of responses to Baldwin’s request were critical of the actor’s unusual plea, others responded positively to the video.

“I already follow her and I am in awe of her mothering skills. I had a hard enough time raising two. I love watching the adventures of the Baldwinitos. Happy Birthday Hilaria,” one fan commented.

As of now, Hilaria has not addressed her husband’s request for followers. However, she shared a video of Baldwin serenading her and their three-month-old daughter Ilaria with a Spanish song on Instagram on Thursday.

“Finishing off 38 all wild and glam with Alec serenading us in Spanish…Elvis style,” she captioned the video. “He did his rendition of Los Pollitos right before. At least Ilaria is amused. Thank you for all the early birthday wishes and feliz noche de reyes!”

The couple, who share seven children together, have been married since 2012.