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'Rust' Shooting Report 'Exonerates' Alec Baldwin

"Rust" Productions has been fined the maximum amount for "plain indifference to employee safety"

The crew on the set of the movie "Rust" "willfully violated" safety rules and "demonstrated plain indifference to employee safety."


The New Mexico Environment Department's Occupational Health & Safety Bureau released a report Wednesday that documented the safety violations on the set of the movie "Rust," where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was inadvertently killed by a prop gun loaded with real bullets.

The production company behind the film was fined $137,000, the maximum allowed by New Mexico law, and issued the "highest-level citation" for their actions. The report read,

"Our investigation found that this tragic incident never would have happened if Rust Movie Productions, LLC had followed national film industry standards for firearm safety. This is a complete failure of the employer to follow recognized national protocols that keep employees safe."

The report claims that the list of violations on-set "goes on and on," and that production management failed to adhere to the standards they claimed were in place. It continued,

"They put something in motion, said that they were going to comply with it, and then never put the resources or integrity behind it in order to have it actually keep people safe."

Another factor in the unfortunate incident lies in the set's armorer being over-worked with multiple tasks unrelated to their safety duties, as the report explained,

"Safety is not something that should ever be put on the back burner. Safety should be an inherent job characteristic that every employer invests in to keep their employees safe."

The safety report is still unclear as to how live ammunition made it onto a film set. Local law enforcement is still unpacking those details as part of their ongoing criminal investigation. Attorneys for the film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed released a statement which read,

"Hannah Gutierrez Reed was not provided adequate time or resources to conduct her job effectively, despite her voiced concerns. Critically, OSHA also determined that production failed to call Hannah in to perform her armorer duties and inspect the firearm right before its use in the impromptu scene with Baldwin."

As the actor who fired the prop gun, Alec Baldwin has long been the subject of criticism surrounding the incident. Following the report, his attorneys released their own testimony, stating,

"We appreciate that the report exonerates Mr. Baldwin by making clear that he believed the gun held only dummy rounds and that his authority on the production was limited to approving script changes and creative casting. Mr. Baldwin had no authority over the matters that were the subject of the Bureau's findings of violations, and we are pleased that the New Mexico authorities have clarified these critical issues. We are confident that the individuals identified in the report will be held accountable for this tragedy."

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