On the set of Rust Friday, October 22nd, Alec Baldwin was handed a prop gun; which led to him accidentally shooting multiple crew members. The tragic accident led to the untimely passing of cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins. Baldwin stands by his claim of the shooting as an accident. Crew have came out to say Baldwin went “In all my years, I’ve never been handed a hot gun.” Also adding how Baldwin was allegedly shocked after the situation and he “had no idea how badly they were hurt or Halyna was dead.”
Baldwin on Twitter “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken and her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
After the accident, half a dozen crew walked off set in protest. Crew were upset over conditions on set. Crew complained about long hours, long commutes, and collecting their paychecks (according to the LA Times). Allegedly many safety protocols and procedures were neglected on set. On a Saturday before the shooting, crew became concerned over a “cold” gun discharging twice. According to crew Baldwin’s stunt double fired two rounds of a gun he was told was “cold” (cold being slang for weapons that do not have any ammunition, including blanks, and hot referring to weapons that are loaded).
This brought a cause for concern from crew, a crew member stated “There should have been an investigation into what happened. There were no safety meetings. There was no assurance that it wouldn’t happen again. All they wanted to do was rush, rush, rush.” Many other crew said the same about lack of safety meetings. Safety issues have always been apart of Hollywood though, Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, was tragically shot and killed in a similar way on set.
Online, Baldwin received much negative attention. Many calling out Baldwin and even adding that he should be imprisoned over the accident. Baldwin however has shown his immense grief, through his statement on twitter, and photos and statements. Others have called out crew who loaded the prop-gun and the ones who did not hold the proper safety measures.
A new search warrant revealed information unknown before. Souza (the film’s director) revealed the prop-gun might not have been checked. According to crew, three guns were laid out and then they went on lunch break. The armorer of the film, Hannah Reed, is also not very experienced in the field. The film being her second time as head armorer. Assistant director Dave Halls, has allegations against him about Halls reportedly saying one of the three guns laid out was “cold.” The gun was not cold and the warrant revealed that it did have live rounds however. Warrant also helping Baldwin and Halls by showing they didn’t know the guns were loaded. But an NBC News report shows Halls has a history with unsafe practices on set.
Maggie Goll a prop-maker who has worked with Halls said, “He did not maintain a safe working environment, Sets were almost always allowed to become incredibly claustrophobic, no established fire lines, exits blocked, safety meetings were non-existent.”
All this troubling news is bringing new light to a often serious yet unaddressed issue in Hollywood. Our hearts go out to Hutchins’ family. R.I.P. Halyna Hutchins (1979-2021).