The producers of the film, “Rust,” stated on Friday they have agreed to pay a $100,000 civil fine for “serious” workplace safety breaches before the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film back in 2021.
The worker safety bureau for New Mexico has found that the Rust Movie Productions firm was aware of the hazards of live rounds on set, along with complaints of mishandling and misfires of weapons, however, they chose not to act in order to rectify the issues, according to a report from investigator Lorenzo Montoya.
Hutchins died after sustaining a gun shot wound after a weapon was discharged by Alec Baldwin while he was rehearsing on the set.
Here’s more from Newsmax:
Baldwin on Thursday pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter brought by Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies.
“Our top priority has always been resuming production and completing this film so we can honor the life and work of Halyna Hutchins,” Melina Spadone, a lawyer for Rust Movie Productions, went on to say in a statement. “Settling this case rather than litigating is how we can best move forward.”
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Under the settlement, RMP’s fine was reduced from an original maximum penalty of $136,793. The New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The bureau found RMP showed “plain indifference” to firearm safety and ignored concerns by crew members about pyrotechnics misfires and two accidental weapons discharges before Hutchins’ death.
“They decided to just continue and tell people ‘Get back to work,'” Montoya stated in testimony on Jan. 4.
Rust’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed told the safety agency on Dec. 7 that Baldwin’s lack of knowledge and “poor form” using a revolver may have led to the discharge that killed Hutchins.
The armorer who loaded the gun for Baldwin has also been charged with involuntary manslaughter and made her first court appearance on Friday. Montoya stated that Gutierrez-Reed asked for extra days for weapons handling duties and training, but did not receive them.
“Rust Line Producer Gabrielle Pickle told the agency on Dec. 20 Gutierrez-Reed’s requests for extra armorer days were granted,” the report said. “Production of the movie is set to resume in the spring in Montana, RMP has said.”