In The Know

Camera crew walked off job to protest safety concerns on Alec Baldwin movie

Seven camera crew members working on the film “Rust” walked off the set to protest a myriad of issues several hours before actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot and killed a cinematographer, The Associated Press reported.

The news outlet, which spoke to one of the employees who walked off the job, said that crew members had complained about issues including accommodations for their housing and safety procedures. The AP noted that employee disputes had roiled the production of “Rust” since early October.

The AP’s request for comment was not returned by Rust Movie Productions. 

Multiple reports indicated last week that the “Rust” film production had also seen two accidental weapon discharges before the Thursday incident. A stunt double for Baldwin had reportedly been told that a gun he was given was “cold,” meaning there was no live ammunition in it, before the two rounds were fired. 

One crew member told The Los Angeles Times that there were no safety meetings after the incident occurred or an assurance that the same episode would not happen again. The production company for the film had said it did not know of any weapons safety complaints.

A colleague who once worked with the assistant director who allegedly gave Baldwin the gun, Dave Halls, told NBC News in a statement that Halls had not maintained safe working environments previously.
“Sets were almost always allowed to become increasingly claustrophobic, no established fire lanes, exits blocked … safety meetings were nonexistent,” prop maker Maggie Goll, who previously worked with Hall on Hulu series “Into the Dark,” told the NBC.
Calls to Hall were not returned to the network.
A Blumhouse Television spokesperson told The Hill in a statement, “Dave Halls worked on two films for Blumhouse Television in 2019, and was not rehired after that time.” 
“Any complaints that were received by the studio regarding safety issues were dealt with promptly,” the spokesperson added.

The revelations follow a deadly incident that occurred last Thursday when Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded film director Joel Souza using what he thought was a prop gun. 

“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,” Baldwin tweeted Friday. “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 for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”

Several news reports, which obtained a copy of the affidavit into the investigation, noted that Baldwin had been reportedly told that the gun was safe by an assistant director before he fired the weapon. 

–Updated 4:33 p.m.

Tags Alec Baldwin fatal shooting Rust

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