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Union Members Walked Off “Rust” Set Ahead of Prop Gun Killing of Halyna Hutchins

HeadlineOct 25, 2021

More information has emerged about last week’s deadly shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set of the Western “Rust.” Crew members say they made multiple complaints about safety on set, with two accidental discharges from prop guns occurring before the fatal shooting of Hutchins by Alec Baldwin, who was falsely told a prop gun was “cold” — meaning unloaded — before he started rehearsing a scene. “Corners were being cut,” one person told the Los Angeles Times. The day of the shooting, all but two members of the camera crew reportedly walked off the job to protest working conditions. The departed crew members — who belonged to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees — were replaced by nonunion workers. Over the weekend, film workers in Albuquerque held a vigil for Halyna Hutchins.

Efraín Villa: “There are so many protocols when you’re on set. It almost becomes a ceremony every time that you are handed a gun to use. Obviously something failed. And I don’t know what failed, but the fact that this happened shows that an elemental piece of that safety protocol didn’t work.”

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