Alec Baldwin’s position as a producer in the “Rust” shooting should be criticized more than his role an actor
“One in a trillion” is how Alec Baldwin recently talked about the tragic accident on the set of Rust.
It was on Oct. 21, when Alec Baldwin shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins with a gun that he believed to only be filled with blanks.
It’s a story as wild as it is heartbreaking. It seems almost like something out of a pulp magazine — a famous actor involved in a situation like this.
The consequences will be and have already been immense for Baldwin, the director Joel Souza and the film industry as a whole.
However, those who have been hurt the most have been Hutchins’ husband and nine-year-old child as Halyna was taken from them so suddenly and without any warning. God only knows what they’re going through.
Rather than focus on the ramifications, I think it’s important to look at some different perspectives on the incident. We still don’t have all the information but one thing is certain, it has been a horrible incident for everyone involved.
One thing that I believed has been widely overlooked in the coverage of this story is Alec Baldwin’s role not just as an actor, but as a producer for Rust.
He cites Hutchins as having been a friend in a recent interview and while hiring people may not always serve as evidence of friendship, it should be considered that at the end of the day, Baldwin approved of her enough to hire her to direct the cinematography.
Hiring people is a large part of being a producer, which is why I’m personally much more upset with Baldwin in that role, rather than in his role as an actor.
Let’s break down the situation for Alec Baldwin the actor. He is given a prop gun from the assistant director, Dave Halls, who shouts out “cold gun!” indicating that the gun is safe to use.
For the shot, Baldwin has to point the gun at the camera, he does so, and then it fires — whether or not Baldwin pulled the trigger or the gun misfired is still unclear.
Baldwin as an actor should be none the wiser to the danger in his actions leading up to the incident.
Now I’ll talk about Baldwin as a producer on Rust. For clarification, not all of the blame I am about to mention falls on Baldwin, he isn’t the only producer and far from the only man to blame.
The point that I intend to make is that if people want to blame Baldwin for this incident, it makes far more sense that he be blamed as a producer rather than as an actor.
The fact is the gun that fired could’ve been in any actor’s hand and the same thing was just as likely to happen.
Now on the same day of the shooting, it is important to note that seven unionized members of the production walked off the set citing insufficient payment, poor COVID-19 safety, loss of benefits, and most pertinently to this situation, unsatisfactory on-set safety.
It was mentioned in the complaints there were multiple incidents of prop guns firing unintentionally.
It has also been revealed that on set there were various types of blanks and fake ammunition, but that there also was for whatever reason, live ammunition found on set.
How the live ammunition got into the revolver used has been the subject of conflicting reports, one claiming that some of the non-unionized replacement workers were firing live ammo for target practice during one of their breaks, however, this is as of now unconfirmed.
Gutierrez Reed was the armorer for the production at this point and she seems to have been very inexperienced in the role.
She laid out three guns for the assistant director to choose which one would be used for the scene.
He chose a revolver and only ended up checking half of the chambers before announcing the gun was cold — he usually performed a much more thorough check — then he handed it to Baldwin.
The warning signs were all there, and Baldwin as a producer certainly had the potential to change things, as did nearly everyone else I’ve mentioned throughout the recounting of information.
That is something I believe that all involved are still wrestling with. After seeing the media circus and how one news team seemed to harass Baldwin and his family for an interview, it’s difficult not to feel some sympathy for him.
This was a freak accident that seems to have been a victim of negligence.
While assigning blame and doling out justice, it is important to once again recognize that above all is that there is now a broken family.
A person died in a situation that should’ve never been possible. What matters more than deciding who’s at fault it was is healing the wounds of this incident.
Those close to Halyna Hutchins have helped organize a Gofundme to raise money for her family in this most difficult time.
I implore everyone to donate to this cause and to help those who’ve lost so much in such a short time.