The deadly accident that occurred last month on the set of Rust has Alec Baldwin suggesting a big change for gun safety on movie and TV productions moving forward. While preparing to shoot a scene for the Western movie, a gun Baldwin was holding had discharged what police say was a “live round,” killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza. Police are actively investigating the incident to determine what happened as other filmmakers are already employing new safety measures when dealing with firearms.
After previously speaking on camera about the tragedy, Alec Baldwin took to Twitter and Instagram on Monday to comment further on the situation. Hoping to prevent similar accidents from ever happening again in future productions, Baldwin writes, “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.”
There have been other suggestions from those inside and outside of the movie industry. A popular petition was launched calling for a ban on all real firearms on sets, an opinion shared by a group of 200 cinematographers banding together to demand the same. The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke says that only muzzle flashes made with CGI will be used for his productions from now on, while the TV series The Rookie has also banned using blanks. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson recently joined this movement by banning real guns on his own movie projects.
“I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can tell you, without an absence of clarity here, that any movie that we have moving forward with Seven Bucks Productions – any movie, any television show, or anything we do or produce – we won’t use real guns at all,” The Rock told Variety. “We’re going to switch over to rubber guns, and we’re going to take care of it in post. We’re not going to worry about the dollars; we won’t worry about what it costs.”
Dwayne Johnson added, “There are safety protocols and measures that we have always taken in the movie business and we take very seriously, and these sets are safe sets, and we’re proud of that. But accidents do happen. And when something like this happens of this magnitude, [that is] this heartbreaking, I think the most prudent thing and the smartest thing to do is just pause for a second and really re-examine how you’re going to move forward and how we’re going to work together. Any movie we do that Seven Bucks does with any studio, the rule is we’re not going to use real guns. That’s it.”
No criminal charges have yet been filed in relation to the Rust tragedy, but that might change as police uncover more details about what happened that day. Different theories have been established, including an assertion from the set armorer’s lawyer that a “disgruntled” crew member may have mixed live rounds in with the “dummies,” but nothing has been proven at this time. The truth is that it could take a while before investigators reach a conclusion, but that isn’t stopping new safety rules from being put into place on other movie and TV productions. This news was first reported at Deadline.