`Rust' Prods. Fined by NM for Safety `Failure' that Led to Fatal Shooting

World Premiere Of National Geographic Documentary Films' THE FIRST WAVE At Hamptons International Film Festival

Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The state of New Mexico announced a nearly $140,000 fine today against the production company for the film ``Rust'' over the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins while actor Alec Baldwin was rehearsing for a scene.

The fine was imposed by the state's Occupational Health and Safety Bureau, which determined firearm-safety procedures were not being followed on the set, and concluded that producers showed ``plain indifference to employee safety.''

``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,'' New Mexico Environment Cabinet Secretary James Kenney said in a statement. ``This is a complete failure of the employer to follow recognized national protocols that keep employees safe.''

The bureau fined the production company $136,793, which it called the maximum fine allowable by state law. According to a bureau statement, the citation was issued for ``the plain indifference to the recognized hazards associated with the use of firearms on set that resulted in a fatality, severe injury, and unsafe working conditions.''

Hutchins, 42, was killed Oct. 21, 2021, while Baldwin, a producer and star of ``Rust,'' was helping to prepare camera angles for a scene on the film's set near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Baldwin, 63, was wielding a gun which was supposed to contain only blank rounds, but it discharged a lead bullet that struck Hutchins in the chest then lodged in the shoulder of director Joel Souza, 48. Souza survived the shooting.

Baldwin has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, even insisting in an ABC News interview late last year that he didn't pull the trigger on the prop gun.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content