State Watch

New Mexico governor eyeing stricter safety protocols for productions after ‘Rust’ shooting

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New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) is considering enacting new safety protocols in light of the fatal shooting that occurred on the set of Alec Baldwin’s film “Rust.”

“My full expectation is that the film and television industry will, at the conclusion of the investigation into this tragic incident and once all the facts are in hand, bring forward comprehensive new safety protocols to ensure this kind of incident never, ever happens again,” Lujan Grisham told the Los Angeles Times in a statement.

“If that sort of comprehensive new approach does not materialize, the state of New Mexico will take immediate action, throughout whatever means are available to us, to ensure the safety of all personnel on all film and television sets here in our state,” she added.

New Mexico Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth (D) appeared to concur with Lujan Grisham, telling the Times that he would be open to legislative measures. But first, Wirth said he would like to see the film industry and the New Mexico film union create a plan to address safety issues.

“There’s a whole bunch of unanswered questions about what exactly happened there,” Wirth said to the Times. “So we need answers to those questions. We need to see what the industry is going to do in response. And then determine if it makes sense to do anything from the legislative perspective.”

Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins last week after he was reportedly told that the gun was not loaded. No criminal charges have been brought forward, though Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said on Wednesday that they haven’t been ruled out — against Baldwin or others involved in the production.

Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza said in a news conference on Wednesday that hundreds of rounds of ammunition had been collected from the “Rust” set as evidence.

“We suspect that there was other live rounds that were found on this set,” Mendoza said. “This investigation is active, so I won’t comment on how they got there.”

Film industry workers have decried the incident as an indication of the unsafe working conditions present in the film industry overall. The Times reported that some crew members on the film had walked off set just days before the shooting in protest of long hours and delayed paychecks.

Tags Alec Baldwin alec baldwin shooting film industry Michelle Lujan Grisham Michelle Lujan Grisham New Mexico Peter Wirth
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