Alec Baldwin’s ‘Rust’ line-up drew mixed reactions

Alec Baldwin’s ‘Rust’ line-up drew mixed reactions

The family of ‘Rust’ cinematographer Halyna Hutchins says it is ‘consolation’ that no one is above the law in New Mexico following a decision to file criminal charges against actor-producer Alec Baldwin and the film’s gunsmith reimburse

More than 15 months after the 2021 Hutchins shooting, Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the arms dealer of “Rust,” are facing felony charges related to the October 2021 incident.

Baldwin, 64, who stars in the low-budget western and is a producer, was charged Thursday with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and Gutierrez Reed, who loaded the prop cannon Baldwin fired, is charged with involuntary manslaughter. Assistant director David Halls reached a settlement on misdemeanor charges in connection with the fatal shooting that also injured director Joel Souza.

In a statement issued by a lawyer, the Hutchins family thanked the Santa Fe sheriff and district attorney for their “thorough investigation” and finding that the charges were “justified in the killing of Halyna Hutchins in a knowing disregard for human life.”

The family added, “We support the charges, will cooperate fully with these charges and fervently hope the justice system works to protect the public and hold those who break the law accountable.”

A lawyer for Baldwin Thursday called the promised charges a “horrific miscarriage of justice,” saying, “We will fight these charges and we will win.”

Initial reactions to the shooting were quick and met with shock in Hollywood. Many celebrities called for better gun safety on the sets when word spread that people in New Mexico’s tight-knit film industry who had worked on the “Rust” set had left in protest at poor working conditions. Since then, however, the development of the long-running hit has met with a calmer echo in the industry.

“I honestly don’t quite understand how he’s responsible for this, but my guess is he pulled the trigger,” said a person associated with a talent agency who was not authorized to speak publicly about the charges.

In a long Twitter threadKirk Acevedo, an actor who has appeared on HBO’s Band of Brothers, Fox’s Fringe and CW’s Arrow, called Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter charge “the most ridiculous charge ever” and blamed it on Gutierrez Reed.

“The majority of these actors have never fired an actual gun in their lives, and those who did still had no idea how to properly hold or fire a live gun, let alone the prop guns we get.” to have. It was up to the technical advisers we had on those sets to show us, or the gunsmith,” he tweeted.

California Sen. Dave Cortese (D-San Jose) said he plans to reintroduce legislation this year to set safety standards in Hollywood after attempts to pass new legislation in 2022 failed. He said an alliance of studios and unions failed to find common ground to support changes.

“I have worked with industry stakeholders and leaders, including many entertainment industry professionals, to drive these real reforms and avoid another on-set tragedy,” Cortese said in a statement. “What we’ve learned is that this is an issue that needs to be addressed across the industry, rather than on an incident-by-incident basis, to strengthen safety as a whole and ensure we keep production safe for everyone.”

“Today’s news reinforces the fact that anyone on set can become the tragic victim of the lack of legally mandated safety protocols,” Cortese added.

The indictment ruling comes three months after Baldwin and the film’s other producers reached a proposed settlement agreement with the Hutchins family to end the civil wrongful death suit filed early last year. The family initially blamed cost-cutting and reckless behavior on the part of Baldwin and others for the Hutchins death.

Meanwhile, right-wing pundits who have long been critical of Baldwin’s liberal views — and his Emmy-winning impersonation of former President Trump — reacted with glee to the legal ramifications.

“Great to see Alec Baldwin finally face charges for killing this young woman. I hope they throw the book at him because every day after that he demonstrated dishonesty and a complete lack of humility.” tweeted Conservative commentator Candace Owens, who clashed with Baldwin’s daughter Ireland on Twitter in the days after the shooting.

Here’s a sampling of the mixed reactions to Thursday’s indictment:

Times contributors Meg James, Wendy Lee, Anousha Sakoui, and Christie D’Zurilla contributed to this report.

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