Alec Baldwin has taken to social media, calling for police presence on film sets after the accidental shooting on set of his film “Rust” killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Baldwin called for gun safety on set and said police officers should be present when weapons are being used.
He wrote, “Every film/TV set that uses guns, fake or otherwise, should have a police officer on set, hired by the production, to specifically monitor weapons safety.” The actor also shared the post on his Instagram page.
Hutchins was killed while filming “Rust” when Baldwin discharged a prop gun on set. The film’s director Joel Souza was also injured in the incident and required hospitalization.
After the tragedy, Baldwin released a statement saying, “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. 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.”
Hutchins’ death comes in the wake of discussions about film crew safety and has prompted calls for industrywide reform. Some, including California state senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose), chair of the Senate Labor Committee, said he would introduce legislation that would ban live ammunition and firearms on sets.
While the Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the matter, the incident also called to mind previous fatalities related to guns that have occurred, including the on-set death of actor Brandon Lee.
In an essay for Variety, Lee’s sister Shannon Lee encouraged moving away from real firearms on set. She wrote, “Hollywood, I know you know that guns that fire blanks on sets also unnerve and injure people. They create a lot of tension and anxiety for all involved. I’ve talked to some who are relieved now that their production is moving away from real firearms and blanks. Innovating away from real firearms could be seen as a level of care for the basic stress and mental health levels of cast and crew. And the technology exists. And if it doesn’t exist to your standards, then I encourage you to innovate even further. What new movie magic could you create if you put your mind to it?”
The Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the “Rust” tragedy.