mcloudy.png
Tuesday May 24th, 2022 5:40PM

Film producers defend safety in Alec Baldwin shooting

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A film production company is contesting sanctions by New Mexico officials for alleged workplace safety violations on the set of “Rust,” where actor and producer Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer in October, according to filings posted Wednesday by state regulators.

Rust Movie Productions is challenging the basis of a $137,000 fine against the company by state occupational safety regulators who say production managers on the set of the Western film failed to follow standard industry protocols for firearms safety.

At a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe on Oct. 21, 2021, Baldwin was pointing a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins inside a small church during setup for the filming of a scene when it went off, killing Hutchins and wounding the director, Joel Souza.

Baldwin said in a December interview with ABC News that he was pointing the gun at Hutchins at her instruction when it went off without his pulling the trigger.

“The law properly permits producers to delegate such critical functions as firearm safety to experts in that field and does not place such responsibility on producers whose expertise is in arranging financing and contracting for the logistics of filming," Rust Movie Productions said in its filing. The company “did not ‘willfully’ violate any safety protocol, and in fact enforced all applicable safety protocols.”

In April, New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau imposed the maximum fine against Rust Movie Productions and distributed a scathing narrative of safety failures, including testimony that production managers took limited or no action to address two misfires of blank ammunition on set prior to the fatal shooting.

The bureau also documented gun safety complaints from crew members that went unheeded and said weapons specialists were not allowed to make decisions about additional safety training.

Rust Movie Productions responded in its filing by saying that misfires prior to the fatal shooting of Hutchins did not violate safety protocols and that “appropriate corrective actions were taken, including briefings of cast and crew.”

“In fact, a safety meeting was held the morning of the incident,” the company said, apparently referring to the shooting of Hutchins. The filing does not elaborate further.

Rust Movie Productions also is challenging allegations that film set armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed was overburdened, asserting that she had sufficient time to properly inspect and safeguard all firearms and ammunition on set. The production company cites comments by a costume designer who said Reed had “plenty of time” to do her job properly.

State investigators say that Gutierrez Reed was limited to eight paid days as an armorer to oversee weapons and training, and was assigned otherwise to lighter duties as a props assistant. As her time as an armorer ran out, Gutierrez Reed warned a manager and was rebuffed.

The sheriff investigating the fatal film-set shooting has described disorganization and neglected safety measures in the making of the low-budget movie. Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza has said he is waiting on a forensic analysis of the weapon, projectile, fingerprints and more from the FBI and state medical examiners before turning the case over to prosecutors to decide whether criminal charges will be filed.

State findings and sanctions against Rust Movie Productions hold implications for at least five lawsuits that have been filed over the shooting, including a wrongful death suit brought by Hutchins’ family against Baldwin and the movie’s other producers.

The lawsuit on behalf of widower Matt Hutchins and his 9-year-old son alleges a “callous” disregard in the face of safety complaints on the set.

The state fines would apply to a film with a budget of about $7 million. Baldwin was assigned a salary of $250,000 as an actor and producer and may have put some of that money back into the production.

Rust Movie Productions says in its filing that all personnel on set were instructed that they had authority to cease activities at any time until safety concerns were resolved, with film union stewards on site to ensure compliance with labor-union safety protocols.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Entertainment, AP Online Movies News, AP Business
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Ukraine to hold first war crimes trial of captured Russian
Ukraine's top prosecutor says the country plans to hold its first war crimes trial of a captured Russian soldier
3:35PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Britain pledges military help to Sweden, Finland if attacked
Britain has pledged to come to the aid of Sweden and Finland, including with military support, if the two Nordic nations came under attack under security deals Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed with his Swedish counterpart in Stockholm and the Finnish president in Helsinki
3:32PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Nadal bounces back from loss to Alcaraz, beats Isner in Rome
Once is enough when it comes to beating Rafael Nadal on a clay court
3:25PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
‘Fiery’ Psaki ending tenure as a top White House messenger
Jen Psaki is leaving as White House press secretary on Friday after having answered reporters’ questions nearly every weekday of the almost 500 days that President Joe Biden has been in office
2:38PM ( 1 hour ago )
2 shootings leave 10 injured, 1 dead on Chicago's South Side
Police say one person was killed and 10 more were injured in two shootings on Chicago's South Side just six hours apart
2:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
Conservative groups go against Trump, Oz in Pa. Senate race
Several prominent conservative groups are lining up behind Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Kathy Barnette as an alternative to Mehmet Oz, the celebrity heart surgeon endorsed by former President Donald Trump
2:17PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Entertainment
For auction: Marilyn’s clothes, Thor's hammer, Cap’s shield
Several gowns Marilyn Monroe donned for “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business” are going up for auction this summer along with 1,400 other pieces of Hollywood history
11:10AM ( 1 day ago )
For auction: Marilyn’s dress, Thor's hammer, Cap’s shield
Several gowns Marilyn Monroe donned for “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business” are going up for auction this summer along with 1,400 other pieces of Hollywood history
10:07AM ( 1 day ago )
'A Strange Loop' earns a leading 11 Tony Award nominations
“A Strange Loop,” Michael R
1:22PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Online Movies News
Coinbase loses half its value in a week as crypto slumps
Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase has lost half its value in the past week, including its biggest one-day drop ever on Wednesday as the famously volatile crypto market weathers yet another slump
3:05PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Ukraine shuts off Russian pipeline amid talk of annexation
Ukraine stopped the flow of Russian natural gas through one hub that feeds European homes and industry
3:01PM ( 44 minutes ago )
Live updates | Pro-Russian protesters rally in Bulgaria
A pro-Russian nationalist party staged a protest rally in front of the parliament building in Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, on Wednesday, calling for the government to resign and accusing it of failing to tackle the economic crisis
2:58PM ( 47 minutes ago )
AP Business
Ukraine to hold first war crimes trial of captured Russian
Ukraine's top prosecutor says the country plans to hold its first war crimes trial of a captured Russian soldier
3:35PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Britain pledges military help to Sweden, Finland if attacked
Britain has pledged to come to the aid of Sweden and Finland, including with military support, if the two Nordic nations came under attack under security deals Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed with his Swedish counterpart in Stockholm and the Finnish president in Helsinki
3:32PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Nadal bounces back from loss to Alcaraz, beats Isner in Rome
Once is enough when it comes to beating Rafael Nadal on a clay court
3:25PM ( 20 minutes ago )
US finds 500 Native American boarding school deaths so far
A first-of-its-kind federal study of Native American boarding schools that for over a century sought to assimilate Indigenous children into white society has identified more than 500 student deaths at the institutions so far
3:22PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Biden sees bigger role for US farms due to Ukraine war
President Joe Biden is vowing to help American farmers try to ease a global spike in food prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
3:17PM ( 28 minutes ago )