Rust Movie Productions is launching an investigation and internal safety review following Alec Baldwin’s fatal prop gun incident that killed Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer for the film.
According to Dateline, there were several other unreported incidents that have since come to light as well, such as a camera crew walkout mere hours before the shooting, and a previous prop gun incident a couple days prior.
Multiple sources close to the film claimed that several camera crew members wrote letters of resignation and walked off set on Thursday, citing safety concerns, poor work conditions, and a “wide range of complaints.”
“We cited everything from lack of payment for three weeks, taking our hotels away despite asking for them in our deals, lack of Covid safety, and on top of that, poor gun safety! Poor on-set safety period!” a film crew member told Dateline.
The source then alleged that Rust Movie Productions “brought in four non-union guys to replace us and tried calling the cops on us.”
On top of that, and the fatal prop gun incident, sources revealed that days before the incident, another prop gun had gone off by accident, forcing them to question what was happening with the risky prop guns on set.
“A gun had two misfires in a closed cabin,” a source recalled. “They just fired loud pops. A person was just holding it in their hands and it went off.”
Following the walkout on Thursday, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and director Joel Souza were injured by a prop gun used by lead actor Alec Baldwin, resulting in Hutchins’ death.
Authorities are also investigating the incident, but after Alec Baldwin and Rust Movie Productions’ armorer were questioned, no arrests were made.
“The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company,” Rust Movie Production later said in an official statement.
“Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down,” the statement continued. “We will continue to cooperate with the Santa Fe authorities in their investigation and offer mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time.”
According to Dateline, other armorers had previously turned down the gig to work on Rust, citing dangerous working conditions and concerns about the budget before filming ever began.
“There’s going to be an investigation into how this gun had the power to kill someone when it was supposed to be a prop gun,” said Marc Malkin, senior culture and events editor for Variety.
According to Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Juan Rios, “a live single round was accidentally fired” from the prop gun, leading many people to question how the prop gun was ever loaded.
Transcripts from the 911 call revealed that the script supervisor said the assistant director was supposed ”to check the guns“ and was “responsible for what happens on the set.”
It’s unclear why the assistant director was left with this job and if it had anything to do with the walkout shortening up staff duties.
Overnight, a petition calling on Alec Baldwin to “use his “power and influence” to stop the practice of live guns on set was created on Change.org, garnering over 2,300 signature.
“There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours,” Baldwin said. “I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family.”
Halyna Hutchins’ husband Matthew told Insider that Baldwin has been “very supportive,” but there are “no words communicate the situation.”
Rust Movie Productions has been shut down indefinitely as the safety review investigation continues.