Actors Union Defends Alec Baldwin: Manslaughter Charges ‘Wrong, Uninformed’

Despite maintaining his innocence, actor and producer Alec Baldwin was found by the FBI to have pulled the trigger of the gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins while on set of his film Rust, in October of 2021.

On Thursday, nearly a year an a half after killing Hutchins, Baldwin was finally charged with her death.

Now, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) union is coming to Baldwin’s defense, claiming that the charges set by New Mexico’s First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies are “wrong and uninformed.”

In their statement, they did not name Baldwin directly, however it was clear who they were talking about.

The actors union said, “​The death of Halyna Hutchins is a tragedy, and all the more so because of its preventable nature. It is not a failure of duty or a criminal act on the part of any performer.”

They continued, “The prosecutor’s contention that an actor has a duty to ensure the functional and mechanical operation of a firearm on a production set is wrong and uninformed. An actor’s job is not to be a firearms or weapons expert. Firearms are provided for their use under the guidance of multiple expert professionals directly responsible for the safe and accurate operation of that firearm. In addition, the employer is always responsible for providing a safe work environment at all times, including hiring and supervising the work of professionals trained in weapons.”

The SAG argued, “The Industry Standards for safety with firearms and use of blank ammunition are ​clearly laid out ​in Safety Bulletin 1, provided by the​ Joint​ Industry-Wide Labor Management Safety Commission. The guidelines require an experienced, qualified armorer to be put in charge of all handling, use, and safekeeping of firearms on set. These duties include ‘inspecting the firearm and barrel before and after every firing sequence,’ and ‘checking all firearms before each use.’”

The union added, “The guidelines do not make it the performer’s responsibility to check any firearm. Performers ​train to perform, and they are not required or expected to be experts on guns or experienced in their use. The industry assigns that responsibility to qualified professionals who oversee their use and handling in every aspect. Anyone issued a firearm on set must be ​given training and guidance in its safe handling​g and use,​ but all activity with firearms on a set must be under the careful supervision and control of the professional armorer and the employer.”

They forgot to mention that there was no reason for Baldwin to have been pointing the gun at Hutchins, or for him to pull the trigger. Especially considering the fact that they were not filming at the time of the shooting.


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