(Santa Fe) Workplace safety regulators in New Mexico in the United States on Wednesday imposed the maximum fine on a film production company for safety violations related to firearms on the film set of Rust.
Posted April 20
A cinematographer was hit by a bullet fired on set in October 2021 by actor and producer Alec Baldwin. Halyna Hutchins succumbed to her injuries.
The New Mexico Office of Occupational Health and Safety said Rust Movie Productions had to pay $139,793 and reported a scathing account of safety failures in violation of industry standards, including testimonies that production executives took limited or no action to address two misfires on set prior to death. The office also documented firearms safety complaints made by team members that went unheeded. He pointed out that weapons specialists were not allowed to make decisions about additional security training.
“What we had, based on the findings of our investigators, was a set of obvious dangers to employees regarding the use of firearms and management’s inability to act on those obvious dangers,” he said. Bob Genoway, chief of the Office of Workplace Safety, told The Associated Press.
At a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe on Oct. 21, 2021, Alec Baldwin pointed a gun at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins inside a small church while preparing to shoot a scene when she walked is triggered, killing Mme Hutchins and hurting the director, Joel Souza.
Alec Baldwin said in a December interview with ABC News that he pointed the gun at Mr.me Hutchins at her request, during the filming of the western film in New Mexico. He said the shot went off without him pulling the trigger.
The new workplace safety report confirms that a high-caliber revolver was handed to Alec Baldwin by an assistant director, David Halls, without consulting weapons specialists on set during or after the weapon was loaded. Regulators note that Mr. Halls also served as safety coordinator and that he was present during two accidental discharges of rifles on the set, and that he and other managers who were aware of the misfires only took no investigative, corrective or disciplinary action. Team members expressed surprise and unease.
A spokesperson for Rust Movie Productions did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the filing, and an attorney for Alec Baldwin was not immediately available.
New Mexico competes with non-Hollywood production sites in states like Georgia, Louisiana and New York. Film productions have flocked to New Mexico in recent years to take advantage of its diverse outdoor landscapes, moderate costs, and generous state incentives.