Actor Alec Baldwin on Tuesday shared a message on social media disputing reports of chaos and a lax attitude toward safety on the set of Western movie Rust before he accidentally shot and killed a cinematographer.
Writing “Read this,” Baldwin reposted lengthy remarks from Terese Magpale Davis, who worked in the wardrobe department on Rust.
“I’m so sick of this narrative,” Davis wrote. “The story of us being overworked and surrounded by unsafe, chaotic conditions is bullshit.”
On Oct. 21, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed by a bullet discharged from a gun Baldwin was using to rehearse a scene on the Rust set in New Mexico. The 30 Rock actor had been told the weapon was “cold,” or safe to use, according to court filings by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department, which is investigating the incident.
Camera operators had walked off the Rust set before the incident to protest working conditions, authorities have said. Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza last week said he believed there was complacency on the production regarding safety.
Lawyers for Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armourer in charge of the weapons used in the filming, said the production was unsafe due to various factors, including a lack of safety meetings.
Davis, however, said the crew had several safety meetings, “sometimes multiple per day.” The production team “were some of the most approachable and warm producers I have ever worked with,” she said. “Concerns were heard and addressed.”
Davis did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Altogether, the more the people involved in the shooting speak, the more confusing things seem to be. Earlier this week, assistant director David Halls — the man who handed Baldwin the gun — gave a statement to the New York Post. In that statement, he said he hopes the tragedy causes Hollywood to “re-evaluate its values and practices” to end accidental shooting deaths.
Still, some of Halls’ co-workers maintain his on-set practices with firearms were dangerous.
Halls also told investigators he didn’t inspect the weapon he gave Baldwin, even though he declared it safe. It isn’t the only statement out of whack with what’s been learned.
The armourer and director have said there should have been no live rounds on set, yet there were. And Baldwin said the Rust set ran smoothly, despite reports that some workers quit over working conditions and safety issues.
Baldwin, who also served as one of the movie’s producers, has said he is heartbroken and will support limits on the use of real guns on film and TV sets.
Production company Rust Media Productions has said it had not been made aware of any official complaints and has hired a law firm to investigate the incident.