Producers on Alec Baldwin movie Rust fined £104,000 over fatal cinematographer shooting

20 April 2022, 17:37 | Updated: 20 April 2022, 20:09

The production company behind Rust was fined over firearm safety breaches
The production company behind Rust was fined over firearm safety breaches. Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Will Taylor

The production company behind the film Rust, which saw Alec Baldwin accidentally shoot and kill a cinematographer during its making, "knew firearm safety procedures were not being followed on set".

Rust Movie Productions must pay $139,793 [£104,818], the maximum fine allowed by law in the US state of New Mexico.

Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot on the set of the film, triggering an investigation and outcry over Hollywood's approach to firearms safety.

The incident happened in October last year when a prop gun used by Baldwin discharged.

Joel Souza, the director, was wounded during filming at the Bonanza Creek Ranch set near Santa Fe.

A report following a six-month investigation by the New Mexico Environment Department also found the company "demonstrated plain indifference to employee safety".

It found management "knew that firearm safety procedures were not being followed on set and demonstrated plain indifference to employee safety by failing to review work practices and take corrective action".

New Mexico environment cabinet secretary James Kenney said: "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 recognised national protocols that keep employees safe.

"Employees should speak up about unsafe workplace conditions or report them anonymously to us."

Robert Genoway, chief of the New Mexico Environment Department's Occupational Health and Safety Bureau Bureau, said: "As a reminder, it is illegal for any employer to retaliate against any employee who alleges a workplace safety violation."

Updates to follow

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