Sunday, May 26, 2024

Alec Baldwin Announces Exoneration in Halyna Hutchins’ Death, But That May Be a Bit Premature


Alec Baldwin has posted an odd Tweet which he says is from his lawyer. They thank the New Mexico Environment Department for investigating the death of Halyna Hutchins and exonerating Alec from responsibility.

But that maybe a premature because that’s not exactly what the report about the Hutchins death says. Indeed, they point out that that assistant director Dave Halls handed Baldwin a loaded gun and that Baldwin didn’t know it. They state that “Alec Baldwin’s authority on the set included approving script changes and actor candidates.” But they also add that “Alec Baldwin handled the revolver and fired the round that struck and injured Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza.”

Baldwin’s exoneration is not mentioned in the report, only in his lawyer’s tweet.

So let’s wait a second. Even if we know Baldwin didn’t intentionally fire a loaded gun, and certainly had no intention of killing or hurting anyone, the report states that he fired the gun. Baldwin has always maintained that he did not fire the gun.

On top of that, the report is highly critical of Rush Productions LLC. In a summary they say “OHSB found that Rust willfully violated the Occupational Health and Safety Act by demonstrating plain indifference to the safety of employees and exposing those employees to the serious hazards associated with firearm use.” They fined the Rust company over $136,000 for causing Hutchins’s death.

They state that the accident was “willful.” The report says: “Members of Rust management knew that firearm safety procedures were not being followed on set and acted with plain indifference to employee safety by failing to review work practices, adhere to film industry standards for firearm safety, and take corrective action.’

But the department does not determine individual responsibility: “OHSB has jurisdiction to hold employers accountable for violations of workplace safety requirements. In this case, the employer is Rust Movie Productions, LLC. OHSB does not issue citations to any individuals associated with the employer.”

So no one is off the hook. Not Baldwin, not Hannah Guiterrez-Reed, and certainly not Dave Halls or of the producers of the movie. There’s a lot more to come here.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News