At some point, the Alec Baldwin story became about something else entirely. Alec’s accidental shooting of Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust in October 2021 became some kind of macabre “gotcha” for conservatives. The right-wingers were mad that Baldwin was and is a long-time Democrat, and that Baldwin spoofed Donald Trump on SNL. I’m trying to explain why I tapped out of the tragic story at some point last year – by most accounts, Hutchins’ death was a preventable tragedy if producers (like Baldwin) had paid closer attention to the live firearms being used in the production, and if the armorer and propmaster were doing their f–king jobs. I thought the people involved with Halyna Hutchins’s death were guilty of criminal negligence, not murder. So… I’m surprised that after a fourteen-month investigation, there are charges being brought for… involuntary manslaughter. Alec Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed (the armorer) are both facing two counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Alec Baldwin, the producer and star of Rust, will be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the October 2021 on-set death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. On Thursday, Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and special prosecutor Andrea Reeb announced that Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed will both be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. No charges will be filed related to the shooting of Rust director Joel Souza, who was injured in the incident. The charges will be formally filed before the end of the month.
Assistant director David Halls signed a plea agreement for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon, according to a press release.
“After a thorough review of the evidence and the laws of the state of New Mexico, I have determined that there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Alec Baldwin and other members of the Rust film crew,” Carmack-Altwies said in a statement. “On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”
Reeb added, “If any one of these three people — Alec Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed or David Halls — had done their job, Halyna Hutchins would be alive today. It’s that simple. The evidence clearly shows a pattern of criminal disregard for safety on the Rust film set. In New Mexico, there is no room for film sets that don’t take our state’s commitment to gun safety and public safety seriously.”
Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE Thursday, “This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice. Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”
Jason Bowles and Todd J. Bullion, attorneys for Gutierrez-Reed, said in a statement, “Hannah is, and has always been, very emotional and sad about this tragic accident. But she did not commit involuntary manslaughter. These charges are the result of a very flawed investigation, and an inaccurate understanding of the full facts. We intend to bring the full truth to light and believe Hannah will be exonerated of wrongdoing by a jury.”
In New Mexico, involuntary manslaughter is a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine, according to a press release. The other involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act charge is also a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in jail and up to a $5000 fine; since a firearm was involved, this is punishable by a mandatory five years in jail.
Okay, so I googled for a bit and I think I understand (in a general sense) why the charge is involuntary manslaughter. The DA will have to prove that Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were not only negligent but “reckless” in their handling of the gun. Remember, Alec’s argument was that, at the time, he believed he was handling a prop gun. He had no idea that he was handling a weapon with live bullets. I guess the DA’s argument is: well, he should have known. I agree, but I’m not sure that makes Baldwin guilty of involuntary manslaughter. I tend to think the case against Gutierrez-Reed is a lot stronger than the case against Baldwin. We’ll see. I mean that literally, I’m sure all of the cable news outlets will have wall-to-wall coverage if this makes it to court.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red, ABC.
There is access to special effects and sound effects for movies and there are very real looking fake guns. There is no need at all for a real gun to be used on a movie set.
Agree, Then indict the person in charge of props or something not Alec directly
I’ve watched several videos of Hollywood people talking about the protocols that are required when guns are used on sets. One of the protocols is that every person who touches a gun must confirm whether or not it is loaded with harmful ammunition. Baldwin did not do that. He relied on someone else to tell him if the gun was loaded aka hot. That was grossly irresponsible.
As a producer of the movie, Baldwin had even *more* responsibility to make sure all gun safety protocols were adhered to. In his own words, he failed to make sure the gun was safe to use.
Also, Baldwin has claimed he did not pull the trigger. That has been called into question because of the type of gun that was used.
So I’m not surprised about the involuntary manslaughter charge.
Blue Nails Betty, I believe those protocols come from the Screen Actors Guild of which Baldwin is surely a member. The DA stated yesterday that Baldwin had an affirmative duty to check the gun himself or have the assistant director do it in front of him. And the forensic tests performed by the FBI allegedly showed that the gun wouldn’t fire with the hammer cocked unless the trigger was pulled.
I see from further down in the thread that SAG is backing Baldwin which you would expect his union to do. However, there is a memo from SAG written before this happened which strongly recommends the actor check the firearm him or herself. Yesterday’s SAG statement does say the actor should operate the firearm “under the supervision of the armorer”. In this case, the armorer wasn’t even in the room. The assistant director, not the armorer, delivered the gun to Baldwin in the church. Why didn’t Baldwin ask for the armorer? This case is going to be 💥💥💥!
As the producer, Alex Baldwin was in charge of the person who was in charge of weapons. He did nothing to educate himself on the subject of gun safety, because if he had he would have known to never point a real gun at anyone for any reason ever. There are alternative camera shots that could have prevented this even if gun safety failed. CGI could have prevented this. People on the set have said that guns were used for target practice outside. The producer is in charge of on-set behaviour and he failed. There were so many opportunities that Alec Baldwin could have taken to prevent this, but none were taken.
They should both be charged. Firearms training on sets should be required. Plastic prop guns that can’t fire and that match specific real weapons exist and should be used.
A woman died because people from the producer on down did not take gun safety seriously. Her life mattered more than all of the excuses not to take all of the precautions.
Alec was a producer and financial backer. He’s in trouble for cutting corners to save money, ignoring the concerns of the crew and running an unsafe set. Several of his cost-cutting measures directly affected the armorer. As a producer he should have been aware that people were using the prop guns to fire live rounds after shooting was over (and people will undoubtedly testify that he did know, it wasn’t a secret on set).
But he knew better than to not check the gun before pulling the trigger as well. He also never should have actually aimed at the DoP. The issue isn’t just him pulling the trigger, it’s his culpability in everything leading up to that moment.
That’s what I was so shocked by, I had no idea real guns were used on a film set. I can’t understand how that would be necessary.
I read that Hannah & some of the crew were using live rounds for target practice during free time. https://parks.dcmusic.ca/2022/04/rust-armorer-hannah-gutierrez-reed-safety-report-response-1235006658/
IMO using vintage guns was also a mistake as I’d guess they’re prone to misfire too.
I had heard similar reports: that it was a slack set in that people were bringing stuff on set that should not have been there. There was a police photo taken of an open box with blanks and real bullets mingling loosely. Someone higher up wasn’t running a disciplined set and there should not have been any live ammo target practice going on.
This can’t be stressed enough. There is no reason to have real guns on a set. Ever.
If they have to use a real gun they could at least make it inoperable.
If Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty of double murder then I am pretty sure Alec will be found not guilty as well.
Murder and involuntary manslaughter are very different charges.
Posted in the wrong spot, sorry!
These incidents are not remotely the same.
Thank God we don’t base our system of justice on “This was wrong, so we’re going to let this other guy in a non-related case go free”.
Alec Baldwin was ultimately responsible for gun use on the set. He killed a woman by firing a loaded gun at her. As an actor and a producer, he managed to bypass every safety practice mean to prevent this.
I’m surprised he was charged at all given that he was allowed to be all over the place including outside of the country. I thought they would write it off as an accident.
He wasn’t charged with anything until yesterday. That’s why he was able to go where he pleased. Now the has to face the court and 12 of his peers if it goes to trial.
He certainly didn’t help himself by going on TV and saying he didn’t feel any guilt over killing Halyna because it was an accident. He is truly a garbage person.
I noticed the difference between official lawyer statements, his said he’ll be exonerated hers expressed sorrow & then said she’d be exonerated. Pretty sure he could have expressed sorrow without implicating himself. His coldness is startling.
Whoa. I am honestly shocked by this. I thought he would make a big settlement and skate on criminal charges.
This is a painfully sad story from all angles.
How on earth, though, could the professional armourer not take full responsibility? Isn’t this entirely her job?
Once again, it gets back to how this set was being run (or not run in this case). The armorer had made several complaints to producers that she was being overwhelmed by too many weapons and not being able to keep track of them. There were credible reports of shooting matches ON SET using live rounds. A number of crew members had just walked off saying their concerns were not being addressed and the set was unsafe.
I think it’s a good thing there will be a trial to air all this out so the public has some insight into what happened and future movie sets don’t literally turn into the wild west. I hold no affection for Baldwin even if he is on the left, but he is innocent until proven guilty BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. He will have the best lawyers (and experts) money can buy. And it is very difficult to convict celebrities of crimes as we see again and again. One important issue will be how much responsibility Baldwin had as producer and was he made aware of all the safety concerns.
Exactly my thoughts, @brassyrebel. We all thought that the rules had changed after The Crow, but apparently not. The only way things will change is if they have to change because those that invest in films are afraid of ending up in court.
I thought the producer angle too, that he wasn’t being charged necessarily as the holder of the gun but the as producer for the culture on set —- but none of the other producers are facing charges so I’m not sure how the prosecution will explain that piece.
The “producer” credit covers a lot of ground on a movie set. Baldwin helped develop the script which is enough to earn a producer credit and have no other responsibilities as far has hiring below the line talent. With actors a producer credit is also a way to get talent more pay than other cast members and have no input on hiring or the day-to-day operation of the production
I’ve seen people suggest this is a liberal witchhunt. I’ve seen people be lenient with him because he shares their political views. I’m what the US calls a bleeding heart liberal, but I completely disavow Alec Baldwin, especially as a LGBTQ+ person. He’s violent and homophobic. Those two things can’t be disputed, as they’ve been witnessed by numerous people on numerous different occasions. He has zero remorse for this horrific situation, and has said as much. I’m not from the US but if I was, I would be unhappy with him as a representative of my political party. Politics shouldn’t inform people’s opinion of him.
He cut corners in production not to appease studio bosses, but because he was a financial backer and wanted to make more money personally. This was HIS set. He didn’t run a safe set, he knew it was unsafe because many people complained and even walked off over it. The armorer was relatively inexperienced and overworked (although she was also using the prop guns to target shoot with other crew members during the shoot, which is inexcusable), and Alec as person experienced with guns should have known better than to a) not check to ensure the gun wasn’t loaded and b) not aim the gun directly at the DoP and pull the trigger. Even though she requested he aim at her to get the shot, he had the authority to tell her no.
I think they’re overreaching with Alec and the charge won’t stick. I think he absolutely is partially to blame for this, and I agree with the charge, just to be clear. But jurors tend to be sympathetic with gun accidents in the US and are wary to convict because people are afraid of gun control laws. They probably should have gone with a lesser charge, but I’m glad they’re taking the case so seriously.
What I keep reading, but I don’t know where this came from or if it was accurate, was that Baldwin was not meant to be pulling the trigger during the shot. I remember reading that Baldwin denied pulling the trigger at all, but that investigators were skeptical. I’m wondering if that’s what his charge is stemming from.
Since this was a rehearsal, there was no reason for him to be holding the gun, in the first place. And the very first lesson you learn in firearm safety training is NEVER point a gun at anyone or anything unless you intend to shoot, even if you believe the gun is unloaded. The question of whether Baldwin pulled the trigger will be central to both the prosecution and defense cases.
wasn’t the armourer very inexperienced, too? i think i read she was a nepo-hire (which doesn’t necessarily make her guilty of anything), i think her dad or someone else is a big time armourer in hollywood? i think i remember reading that she was just very young and inexperienced to get a job like this on this type of movie. but it’s been so long since i read anything that i admit i could be misremembering.
Yes, this is what I remember reading too. Someone said that in usual cases, she would have been hired on as an assistant first and that there ideally should have been two people doing this work, not one inexperienced person. It all sounds like an effort to cut costs to me.
You are correct, TeaLily. This was Baldwin’s pet project, and it had a very small budget since they hadn’t raised much 💰. So, the question becomes were corners being cut when it came to safety? The district attorney has amassed a great deal of evidence about this entire project. It will be interesting to see how they tie it all together and trace responsibility back to Alec Baldwin. Important to remember that the state of New Mexico has a stake in making it clear that low budget movie makers can’t go there to make unsafe movies.
She was part time armorer and part time props. She published emails from her boss telling her to focus on props.
If Baldwin was “just” an actor on the set, I would have a lot more sympathy for him. I know he could have checked the gun himself, but were the actors actually trained on what to look for? I wouldn’t know a live round versus a dummy. Someone who’s job it is to ensure safety is at fault, not the actors, imho.
However, Baldwin isn’t “just” an actor, he is a producer. They are like the “employers” of the people on set (although many on set are considered independent contractors). The producers can control who gets hired, as could the director and the authority of a director to hire people varies by movie. Here, the armorer only had two prior movies she worked on — one where she was the costume assistant, and one where she was an assistant to her father. That’s it, and then she was hired to be armorer for this movie. THAT (negligence as a producer) is where I would find Baldwin at fault, more so than as an actor. But that’s just my own 2 cents.
Once a person is shown the difference between a live round and a blank, it’s very easy to tell the difference. They don’t look at all alike while in the chamber. And a blank isn’t even a bullet. Just wadded material or paper with gunpowder to create flash and sound.
@ Brassy Rebel: In the chamber, they do look the same because the material and gunpowder are still in the casing, it is just the projectile (bullet) that is removed to make it a dummy round. You could the difference while loading the gun, though, because that is when you would see that the projectile has been removed and it looks different than regular ammo.
I’m surprised that two people were charged but which is good. I think involuntary manslaughter is the right and “easier to prosecute” charge. No one associated with Rust ever explained how a live round got into the gun and with prior safety issues raised and blatant issues of negligence, someone was going to be held accountable.
Alec Baldwin stupidly sat down for an interview with George Stephanopoulos. He also posted videos proclaiming his innocence. All of which occurred during the ongoing investigation. I wonder which, if any, self incriminating statements made by him, will be used against him. Hope the family finally gets justice.
I noticed that too. I would have thought Baldwin s attorney would have strongly advised about interviews and going to the media. I think the attorney did this.And more to the point Baldwin should have heeded the advice.
Against going to the media.
Alec Baldwin is a know it all. I’m sure you’re correct that he was advised against giving interviews. But Alec Baldwin gonna Alec Baldwin. He may also have been advised to take the plea deal given the assistant director which involves no jail time.
I would bet his attorneys did warn him against it, but I’m not at all surprised he didn’t listen. His ego wouldn’t let him ride it out quietly.
He will walk. The armorer will not.
Yeah, he’s going to get off. The DA is definitely reaching here with involuntarily manslaughter on Baldwin. Criminal negligence, possibly but it’s a stretch even with him being the producer. The armorer is another story. I hope she has a good lawyer.
I agree. While I think everyone “in charge” on that set bears responsibility, I think it’s tougher to convict him on this than her.
My thoughts are with the victim’s family, this has to be tough having this all over the place again.
I’m actually shocked he was charged but I don’t think they have a particularly strong case again him?
Before he was handed the gun someone acknowledged that it was not a live gun which would technically be proper procedure for an actor and that’s why I think he’ll win his case.
As for Hannah I think she’ll serve time or get a significant fine.
I think this is the DA trying to make a name for themselves in a high profile case.
These are my thoughts exactly. It was acknowledged that Baldwin asked about the gun before running through the scene. The armorer’s literal job is making sure this doesn’t happen. Maybe if she is convicted Baldwin, as a producer, has some liability for hiring someone unqualified/unproven? But not for reckless behavior in that moment. The DA is trying to make a point.
@jessamine I don’t think he had anything to do with her getting hired. There were 10 other producers in this film but none of them have been charged, just Baldwin. He has said he was responsible for the creative aspects of the production, not the technical aspects, and it would be unheard of for someone of his stature to be involved in hiring the crew. The only thing that separates Baldwin from the rest of the producers is the fact that he fired the weapon, which he was told was not live. Unless there is some significant evidence that hasn’t come to light, I don’t think the case against AB is particularly strong, but it feels like the producers as a whole should be held more accountable for the unsafe conditions on the set.
The armorer was specifically hired to ensure the guns being used on set were safe so Alec Baldwin was relying on the expertise of the admirer when he used the gun that day. While he is liable on a civil standard as executive producer in negligence , unless there is evidence that the armorer told him that there was a chance the gun had a live bullet and he used it anyway, the prosecution won’t meet the standard of behind a reasonable doubt.
I don’t remember all of the details anymore but if Alec in his capacity as a producer had knowledge that safety protocols were not being followed by the armorer (eg crew walkoffs and other reports) he can’t just rely on the armorer’s word that the set is safe. I think there must be evidence showing that he had knowledge that she was not doing her job so relying on her further to ensure gun safety was reckless.
It’s kind of similar to negligence in that once a store manager knows there is a spill in aisle 7 it becomes the manager’s duty to make sure it is cleaned up so that customers don’t get hurt – they can’t just shirk responsibility to the employee stocking shelves saying it was their fault for the spill.
The prosecutor wants to make a name for themselves.
If Alec Baldwin is charged because he was a producer, other producers should be charged.
If he is being charged as an actor who shot the gun, he was told there were no live rounds in the gun. There is no case.
The other producers didn’t directly cause the death of Halyna (meaning pointing the gun at her which killed her), which is a necessary element of involuntary manslaughter.
i’m not personally judging Alec here, I think it was a terrible tragedy that no one anticipated, I’m just trying to shed some light on the charges, as a lawyer, in response to the above-poster saying she thinks the case is weak b/c he was justified in relying on the armorer’s word it was safe.
@KP, this was my thought too, about the prosecutor. the quote, “On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice.”, really rubbed me the wrong way. it seemed like grandstanding. but i don’t know anything about this guy.
Yeah, this in a state where one of their politicians arranged for drive-by shootings of Democratic rivals. How serious are they about gun safety?
That happened in Arizona, not New Mexico.
Even if it had happened in New Mexico, so what? The entire state is not under the jurisdiction of a single prosecutor or police chief.
Bunny: nope, that happened in ABQ. And my point was more a reference to the prosecutor’s statement about how they take gun safety seriously in their state. Do they, do they really?
@KP and @Jessamine, I totally agree with you both. This was the armorer’s ONE JOB, ffs.
I also think that there’s a lot of truth to what Kaiser said…imo the fact that Alec Baldwin is despised by so many people, mostly conservatives, is absolutely playing into this.
If this had happened with someone less polarizing— for example, Tom Hanks — I think that people would be a lot more understanding/forgiving about it, and would be placing the blame on the armorer and the prop master, where it belongs.
It was a horrible tragedy and I’m glad that charges have been filed because someone needs to be held accountable for that poor woman’s death, but IMO this was not Alec’s fault. He hired experts to be on crew to handle everything to do with the firearms, and I don’t think *any* actor on a set would imagine they’d be handed a gun loaded with live ammunition. JMO
This sounds terrible, but I immediately thought insurances probably won’t compensate unless all legal efforts to prove fault are exhausted
The insurance was triggered ages ago on behalf of the film production and they would not take the position that a criminal conviction is needed. My understanding is that the matter has already been settled anyway.
I read somewhere else (maybe CNN) that the set was a sloppy disaster, that live rounds were mixed with the dummies, that there was no one really keeping track of anything. The armourer looks really young, I don’t know what her prior experience is.
Her father is an armorer & she followed him into the biz.
Her father is Thell Reed. Well known armorer, marksman, and movie consultant who over the years coached many actors using firearms in their roles.
The armourer is a nepo-baby and she was kicked out of a film set with Nicolas Cage before this one even started.
But they hired her instead of a more experienced armourer to save money.
I can imagine the shockwaves that went through Hollywood over this. And I think this will set new standards of safety. If actors think they will be criminally liable. And that isn’t something an insurance policy can protect them from. They will not put a gun in their hands so easily.
I agree the case against Hannah is a lot stronger than Alec’s. But he was a producer, it was his hand. He can say all he wants he didn’t pull the trigger. But according to the FBI forensic report. There was no way he didn’t pull the trigger for this to happen. Alec has skated on assault charges in the past. If he gets on the stand, he has the ability to do a masterful job swaying the jury. But this may be more than he can weep his way out of.
Hearing the Prosecutors reasoning for charging him. Made a lot of sense and since a gun was involved if he is convicted it’s a mandatory 5 years. So there is a big risk for him now.
The gun used was one of the old style guns where the gun could be accidentally fired by simply cocking the gun. Accidents like this happened a lot with these guns when they were commonly used. I have a distant relative who was killed this way by his own brother because he didn’t properly cock the gun and it triggered it accidentally. The FBI report being quoted is being misconstrued and I am sure this will come up if this matter goes to trial.
These were guns originally designed in 1873 so it’s not like guns of this vintage work perfectly at all times.
I was shocked when I heard about this. I figured they’d charge the armourer but didn’t think they’d charge Baldwin. I don’t think he’ll be found guilty. Feels like the DA is really reaching with him and wants to make a name off this.
I’m interested in how Alec is guilty of negligence as a producer. Even if not guilty in the moment he fired the gun. What was his responsibility in hiring and supervising the armorer? Is there any scenario in which Alec becomes uninsurable on set? I don’t see him serving jail time but that doesn’t mean his career won’t be impacted. I suppose I will be following this trial. I am also genuinely interested in how a live round got on set and into the gun. That detail makes no sense to me. Why would that even be a risk?
they didn’t charge any of the other producers though so I’m not sure that angle holds up — and as someone said above, there is no chance that Baldwin is the one hiring the staff — he’s the talent (so to speak) not the HR guy.
I think this is the prosecutions angle, he was an executive producer that was on set the entire time and should have been aware of how negligent the prop masters and others were acting. Do they have proof that he was aware that they had been using the prop guns with real ammo during the off hours? Then he was aware there was the existence of real ammo in the area and that should have rang alarm bells. Did he hire the prop master (nepo baby) because she was cheaper over other more qualified candidates?
Prosecutor is an idiot.
Regardless of the outcomes of the criminal trials, I hope this results in real weapons being banned from movie sets. This is not the first time that someone has lost their life on a movie set so I find it insane that they keep risking lives for such frivolous reasons…. I think Alec is a moron for giving that interview after the tragedy but I honestly believe that he didn’t know the gun was loaded so I hope he beats the manslaughter charge.
I think the charges against Baldwin are partly to warn actors that they have to take safety seriously and use their outsize influence on set to make sure the rules are adhered to. My best guess is that they will show Baldwin knew about the safety complaints, but still didn’t check the guns. There may be safety in relying on the professionals around you on a well run set, but once you know the set is not well run, you must take personal responsibility for your co-workers safety.
“ to warn actors that they have to take safety seriously”
But that’s the thing. The rules are that the actor does NOT mess with the gun. The experts prepare the prop and give it to the actor. Firearms safety is not the expertise of an actor, they should not be messing with dangerous props. Unlikely he’d be able to tell a blank from a live round just by looking at it. There’s a chain of command when it comes to dangerous props for very good reasons.
@Tiffany:) go watch the police interview with Alec on youtube. He ABSOLUTELY. Knew the difference between blank and live rounds. And he spoke about the gun training they had for the movie. If you put a gun in your hand prop or not. You take a responsibility for it. In addition to the chain of command who did not do their jobs that day. I don’t think it would have been messing with a gun to do a last saftey check of the revolver to make sure there was either no rounds or check to make sure they were blanks. I don’t think you can’t have it both ways if you are working with a gun you can’t claim ignorance of how it works. He even said in the interview the gun should have been empty since they were in rehearsals. Which is why I think he pulled the trigger. He didn’t expect any rounds in the gun. And the “I didn’t pull the trigger” was the cover story.
Even if he knew the difference between the ammunition, it was NOT his job to inspect the weapon.
“If you put a gun in your hand prop or not. You take a responsibility for it.”
I’m sorry, but this is ignorant.
People just can’t wrap their heads around the safety precautions that are taken on set and now it works. There are highly educated and trained people who are responsible for preparing the prop. It ENDANGERS people if untrained people start tinkering with matters outside of their expertise, so that is why it is handled in such a way. I do think that he thought it was empty, because the person that handed it to him shouted clear. Actors can’t just take a firearm from the prop table. They stand on their mark, a responsible person checks it, and hands it to them. Immediately after the scene is done shooting, the actor can’t walk away with the gun. They have to stand in place, and a responsible person comes and takes the weapon away from them.
From SAG-AFTRA, the actor’s union:
“The prosecutor’s contention that an actor has a duty to ensure the functional and mechanical operation of a firearm on a production set is wrong and uninformed,” the union said in a statement. “An actor’s job is not to be a firearms or weapons expert. Firearms are provided for their use under the guidance of multiple expert professionals directly responsible for the safe and accurate operation of that firearm.”
@Tiffany – that’s what I read at the time from people experienced in the business. There’s a protocol for handling the gun on the set so things are done correctly and the chain of responsibility is clear. The prop is supposed to be properly prepared before it’s given to the actor. In fact, if the actor does mess around in any way checking the gun him/herself, the chain is considered compromised and is started over from the beginning. I believe there’s also supposed to be safety training on the set for all the people involved in these set ups. Don’t recall if that was done on the Risk set or not.
ETA: I see you just posted the above quote confirming what I read at the time of the incident.
windyriver, you are exactly right.
What’s ignorant is thinking SAG – AFTRA gives him some kind of diplomatic immunity. But thank you for posting the link. So if we take the Saftey bulletin as bible. He pointed the gun at people (and it was rehersal not on camera). So that argument is out the window it would be OK to point it. And if we believe the FBI Report he pulled the trigger. Violating the saftey guidelines. Everything Alec has said has been to cover his buttocks. If a jury thinks he is lying he may be found guilty.
I don’t think the case against Alec is a slam dunk either. But I can see why he is being charged. And will be up to a jury if it goes to trial.
Yeah…he’s not a foreign government official, so no one thinks he gets diplomatic immunity. 😉
Will Hilaria want another baby now?
Oh, you can start betting on that one…
The baby madness needs to stop. How are they not concerned about Alex losing his earning potential after a costly legal battle?
I know Amber Heard was able to use her homeowner’s insurance to pay for her legal defense and 1 million settlment with Johnny Depp. Which was a civil matter.
But does personal insurance cover criminal charges or does that come out of his own wallet. Spanish Hillary must be freaking out right now if the gravy train is about to be over.
I have absolutely no idea about any of that, but they have 7 children under the age of 10?? Did I get that right? I’m so torn between having minimal sympathy for either of them (regardless of whether he’s found guilty of this charge, he has a history of rage monster behavior and is not someone I’d ever desire to know personally) but their children, my gawd. I don’t know anyone born after about 1950 who comes from a family that large, so I really have no sense of what their lifestyle would be if they found themselves suddenly members of the middle class.
@zazzoo Spanish Hillary has never spent a day as middle class in her life. It things go tits up. She will just move to Spain with her Parents. Which actually may be what she wants all along.
She did a pap walk or two yesterday. She loves any kind of attention.
Years ago, John Landis was charged with involuntarily manslaughter as well over the deaths on The Twilight Zone movie set. He was absolutely guilty and bore responsibility, but he was acquitted. That absolutely horrible and preventable tragedy did lead to a lot of reform, maybe this will too.
There is no “Hollywood protocol” exemption to involuntary manslaughter.
Imagine you were handed a gun and told it wasn’t loaded, so you started waving it around and pulled the trigger, and someone died. That’s a pretty clear cut case and it’s exactly what happened here.
The FBI concluded the trigger was pulled since the gun fired normally when tested. According to the FBI, it didn’t misfire.
But even if it did, again, Alec Baldwin isn’t magically exempt from the law. He’ll likely get away with this, but if this had happened to one of us out in the world, we’d be locked up.
I don’t think that is what Frippery is saying. I think for reform there should be rules that the industry needs to follow as a whole. After this happened you had some actors who said. “I always check the gun” and others who said “I never check the gun”. And Alec’s argument was he was told it was ‘cold’. And he just took it on face value. If he had taken the extra step of just checking. This never would have happened. He also downplayed the crew walking off set. He claimed they walked off due to not being offered hotel rooms. He never mentioned their saftey concerns. He was minimizing the clear negligence that was going on on that movie set.
If you put a gun in your hand it should be and industry standard for the actor to check it also. If you watch the police interview. Alec knew the difference between blanks and live rounds. He was trained enough on guns if he had checked the barrel he would have seen it.
“,SAG-AFTRA cited that the Industry Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Safety Bulletins that currently govern the use of firearms on set “do not make it the performer’s responsibility to check any firearm. Performers train to perform, and they are not required or expected to be experts on guns or experienced in their use.” Rather, SAG-AFTRA maintains, armorers are charged with checking the gun and its barrel before and after any use on set. The union added, “Anyone issued a firearm on set must be given training and guidance in its safe handling and use, but all activity with firearms on a set must be under the careful supervision and control of the professional armorer and the employer.”
Total side note, but I recently learned that Jennifer Jason Leigh is Vic Morrow’s (one of the actors killed in the Twilight Zone movie) daughter. I had no idea. Imagine following your father into acting after an incident like that.
I don’t think they need to use real guns at all on movie sets. If you can change the costumes of your entire cast in post with special effects, then there is no reason you need to have real guns or blanks or any kind of actual ‘bang’ on set. But I know that budgets are a concern and smaller films can’t always afford things.
At the very least, any actor who handles any kind of firearm needs to have training and certification of some kind, and be the last word on if the gun is safe before *they* handle it. Not their job? Well, if I am holding something that could potentially kill someone, I should have the education and training to say it’s safe, or to refuse and say no, please check it again or no, I don’t feel comfortable doing this.
I didn’t know JJL was Vic Morrow’s daughter either until a few years ago. What happened to him, and those children, was absolutely horrible and the people responsible should have been punished much more severely. But because of the publicity of that accident and the trial that followed, the film industry did have to make efforts to keep people safer. That is what I was trying to say with my original post, that maybe all the coverage of Baldwin being charged and the trial will again force the industry to shape up, improve guidelines, keep everyone safer.
@Frippery absolutely. We can only hope some good will come out of this.
This will be very interesting to watch. Nothing is certain these days as far as accountability and consequences are concerned. Waiting and watching and listening are precious commodities lol.
I think the reason they’re going after Alec is because he is the producer so therefore technically Hannah’s boss, so he is ultimately responsible for this as well as her.
Cue the bebé Hillary, cómo se dice..deflect deflect deflect?
Someone above said Helen did two pop walks with the kids yesterday.
Yep, walked a couple of the boys out to a car with a throng of paps taking photos, shoved them both in the car, didn’t say a word to them and walked off without even shutting the door. Such a loving mama.
But, everyone knows this : YOU DO NOT POINT A GUN EVER AT ANYONE EVER, unless you plan to shoot it.
My children also learned this during their DNR firearm safety course, to not point at anything unless you plan to shoot. However, this is Hollywood and they were following a script which calls for pointing and shooting, which muddies the water a bit regarding this firearm safety rule. Will be interesting to hear the defense arguments.
They’re actually ways around the fact the shot required the camera to look into the barrel of the gun. Those shots are usually set up and a mirrored image the camera man can review the shot from an angled position while not being in the line of fire. I’m actually wondering if that was part of the cost cutting that keeps getting mentioned alongside the rust shooting.
It seems like there was a lot of shenanigans on the set. I’ve read that Hanna was part time armorer and part time prop employee. Staff quitting mid production over safety concerns. No one knows where the live ammo came from. There is no credible chain of custody – Hanna should have loaded and delivered the gun, not the prop’s guy (who took a plea deal).
I’m actually glad you’re covering this. I don’t think it’s merely macabre at this point. It’s going to have pretty big implications in the entertainment world if producers, directors and crew members can be held criminally liable for accidents on set. I’m interested in seeing how this all plays out, and I hope the inevitable celebrity circus isn’t too painful for Hutchins’ family.
They probably expect the case against Baldwin to fail and are making a show of it to not show favortism towards a celebrity. He’s guilty of something but in the day to day of filming, I can see how he simply trusted that he wasn’t holding a real gun loaded with live ammunition so I don’t think this is the right charge. He didn’t intend to kill that man but I do hope that he’s supporting any family the victim had.
I’m sorry but I have never heard a prosecutor bring a case the trial and expect it to fail. They won’t risk their career for stunt charges. They won’t even try a case unless they think they can win. Also why they took so long to investigate and announce charges would be filed. With a thorough investigation to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.
The FBI report is damming. And if the jury thinks he lied there is a good chance Alec will be convicted. And Hannah was beyond negligent with her ability to do her job.
The FBI report shows the gun going off in a few tests without the trigger being pulled. Beyond a reasonable doubt is a very high standard and the faults in that report alone will create enough doubt for an acquittal.
Outside of the lawyers working on this case no one knows all the evidence available and the media often incorrectly reports things.
Baldwin was so good at playing Trump because Baldwin is so similar to Trump. I don’t care if he says he’s a Democrat. Trump used to say the same when it was socially advantageous. The only reason he’s not as bad is because he doesn’t have the same power. He’s a vile man who was criminally negligent in his handling of a firearm and a woman is dead as a direct result of his negligence. He pointed the gun at her and pulled the trigger. She wouldn’t be dead if he hadn’t violated all the rules of gun safety. I hope he goes to prison for a few years.
I did look it up, New Mexico is a moderate swing state with red and blue voters by area. And if the case comes to trial in Sante Fe. It’s 76% Democratic 22% Rebublican. I don’t think this will be some red state mob jury trying to convict him. I actually have faith he would be given a fair trial based on facts.
@RNOT. I completely agree. I liked Alec Baldwin in “Hunt for Red October” but he has proven himself to be a vile, violent, sexist human being. Sure, he is not as bad as Trump, but I wouldn’t want to be in a room alone with either man.
Agree. I don’t understand the concern for Baldwin’s politics. He’s far better known for his gross, abusive behavior and esposa loca than he is for being some kind of liberal activist. I think this will be a rare instance where being a “celebrity” will be more detrimental than helpful given his reputation.
Local here. I’m surprised this charge is sticking because New Mexico is notoriously bad at prosecuting crime but I think this DA did an amazing job and hope justice is served. I have many friends in the local film community (my husband has worked on sets even) and it’s a tight knit and very professional community. World class set and crew people work here. Many of the set and crew were walking off this film’s set in protest of awful conditions (like not being given hotel rooms near the location as promised and having to drive and hour back and forth to Albuquerque). Alec tried to pin the blame on everyone “below” him and never took responsibility. He is a self centered jerk and though he could just blame the union guys instead of his privileged ass. I’m glad he wasn’t able to pay his way out of killing a woman.
Well said, @Lulabelle. Baldwin’s recklessness (to support a conviction for involuntary manslaughter) includes, at the least, his ignoring the unsafe conditions on the set, his not checking the gun for bullets, his pointing the gun at another human (in rehearsal!), his pulling the trigger of the gun (in rehearsal!) and his not attending the movie’s gun safety training. As the DA also has Baldwin’s texts and emails they may also have evidence of more reckless acts.
Have you heard anything about why there were live rounds on set? Or the target shooting that was happening? I’ve only heard what’s been on the news from Albuquerque.
From reading Hannah’s lawsuit against Seth Kenney who sold most of the dummy bullets for the movie. she is claiming Seth sold the dummy rounds and had reloaded bullets that looked like dummy but were actually live rounds mixed in. BUT Seth is trying to pin this all on Hannah as her Father Thell Reed also kept reloaded bullets. And is trying to say Hannah brought the bullets on set and mixed them up and didn’t check properly.
If you shake a dummy bullet it rattles as it has beads in it. If it doesn’t make a sound that’s a red flag it’s a live bullet. But really no one as of now can say how the live bullets got mixed in. Besides theories. They haven’t released if Hanna’s DNA or fingerprints are on the 7 live bullets found around the set and in Alec’s Bandolier. But it’s clear she did not check each bullet if they were really dummys if 7 live bullets were found on set.
I spent the whole day going over the police interviews on youtube. This case is bonkers if it goes to trial.
He was the producer as well as an actor. He had the ultimate responsibility of a safe set and he pulled the trigger on the gun–even though he lied and said the gun went off by itself. The FBI had to investigate and say that the trigger HAD to be pulled. It was an unhappy set because of him. He did nothing when the crew complained of an unsafe set. Did he personally check that the gun HE was firing had no bullets in it? HE was shooting a gun at a live human being. That is your
responsibility no matter what you think. It was involuntary manslaughter.
Not how that works. And if all the producers had been charged, maybe the prosecutor could run with that. And you would have to argue and show what people meant by “unsafe.”
I expect AB will cut some kind of deal, he will do zero days in jail.
Lawyers are going to cost him serious money.
He has been an a**hole during this entire situation.
A family has lost a wife and Mother.
On a set that had known safety issues and Baldwin was Executive Producer.
Hillaria Baldwin is disgusting. Pap walking in shirts that say HUMAN and EMPATHY, while wearing $300 slippers and using her kids as props.
Geez, they are moving into Trump territory.
I agree. Being the boss means taking responsibility for your subordinates’ actions. I suspect he was charged because he appears as an unsympathetic bully to many people. I don’t care about his so-called politics. None of his actions indicate caring about other people. He admitted he doesn’t change diapers and has been sexist to women. Making fun of Trump doesn’t give Baldwin a pass. And I despise Trump.
I just saw the video on Buzzfeed where she’s ranting at reporters in what is certainly her natural Boston reared accent.
So ridiculous to charge Baldwin. And he will rightfully get acquitted. The prosecutor better hope he takes a plea, because based on the law in New Mexico and what it means, he had no culpability with this occurring. Plus another person already took a plea deal.
The prosecutor is going to have to argue an executive producer on a movie set is always in charge of prop/gun safety. (Have fun with that).
That all actors check weapons before using them on set (which we know they dont and someone nicely linked to).
The armorer will be found guilty, he will not.
The person took the plea deal for no jail time. And is going to most likely testify against Alec and Hannah. That won’t be good for them.
Fortunately there’s a way to test your opinion and that is to see what happens with the charges against Alec Baldwin in terms of the trial or his plea.
He was the executive producer on this movie so it was his job to oversee the use of dangerous weapons. It was his job to monitor every scene involving guns. Someone used, without permission, that gun for some recreational shooting and forgot to remove the live ammunition in it. Sorry not sorry. Baldwin wasn’t on top of this and shares culpability for creating a situation that cost someone their life.
That set sounds like it was run on chaos and messiness. Someone had to be held responsible. Alec Baldwin for pointing a gun at someone and not checking it and that armourer for being grossly inept and careless.
Is it wrong that I feel really bad for Alec Baldwin. This is something he will have to carry for the rest of his life. It feels wrong to pile on him when it was a tragic accident. I remember when Brandon Lee was killed. The poor actor that fired the shot it broke him. It was an accident.
Yea, it was truly an accident and in that, I feel badly for him and his family. But the 24 year old nepo female will be punished more harshly. I am surprised he was charged but he did not behave in a sympathetic way. The 24 year old woman will suffer most. He has his millions, a devoted wife, and many children. His life is not completely ruined in the way of this 24 year old woman. His wealthy white male privilege will win.
The 24-year old woman is an adult who had a job that could get people killed if she didn’t do it right. She was criminally negligent and it led to someone’s death.
I felt sorrier for Alec before he started acting like a jerk about the whole thing. I guess he just can’t help himself on being a jerk. It’s compulsive.
Don’t feel sorry for AB. He stated clearly in his interview with George Stephanopolous that he feels no remorse.
And Baldwin has continued to show that lack of remorse in his behavior since the Halyna’s tragic death.
Save your sympathy for Andros, her son.
@Bunny, I think you are correct.
ABaldwin is a millionaire, he can use his money to protect himself.
The 24 y/o who is neither famous, nor wealthy is the one who will be scapegoated (can’t think of a better term) her career in movies will be finished. If anyone does jail time, it’ll be her.
I still say that Baldwin as Ex. Producer had more responsibility to secure a safe set.
Tom Cruise is a perfect example, he is known to be a control freak on his movies.
I can’t see any TC set having shooting contests or anyone horsing around on set with live ammo and guns.
No matter how this comes out, I dislike AB and his current wife, HB.
All those kids at his age + she uses those kids like props. Ugh.
I grew up around guns and shooting. I was always taught, ‘if you aim the barrel at someone, it’s because you plan to kill them’.
FYI you must ALWAYS check and recheck the chamber for a live round, it is par for the course in PRACTICE, let alone reality. This is not advanced marksmanship, it is BASIC gun handling.
Everyone on that set should have had a gun safety course! Lessons must be learned from this. I feel horrible for all involved.
I would love some perspective from the lawyers in the room. It seems like the armourer had raised the issue of overwork and that there were too many guns for her to safely provide oversight with management, but they did nothing to change these conditions. Will that make involuntary manslaughter against her harder to prove?
The problem is that most lawyers won’t have access to all the evidence here so giving an opinion is conditional on a lot. I have seen the FBI report taken as incontrovertible and then saw the lawyers already point out false reporting with the test results. Finding someone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt is a very high standard for a reason and while there is no question Baldwin was negligent on a civil level, meeting the elements of involuntary manslaughter charge is a much harder thing to do.
This doesn’t undo the issues regarding gun safety on set and not using real guns at all, but there are a lot of hot takes that show a confusion of the civil liability standards and the criminal one.
This looks right to me. Moreover, going as hard as possible against this might make people less likely to have real guns on set at all, which is super important.
I’m not surprised at all, and I don’t think anyone who knows the details of the case would be. Involuntary manslaughter is manslaughter, not murder. Nobody’s being accused of murder, not sure why it was even mentioned.
In very simplistic terms: Murder is when you take an action you know will result in a person’s death, and manslaughter is when you take an action that causes death without it being your intention. Yes, murder is sometimes plead down to manslaughter, but that’s not the case here.
The seriousness of the charge reflects the level of negligence, but my concern is that they’re overreaching. The US tends to be sympathetic to gun accidents.