The actors union’s statement comes after Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies along with special prosecutor Andrea Reeb announced charges against Baldwin, armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and assistant director David Halls over the shooting on the New Mexico film set.
Reeb remarked that Hutchins would be alive if Baldwin, the film’s armorer and the film’s assistant director did “their job.”
SAG-AFTRA, which called Hutchins’ 2021 death a “tragedy” of preventable nature, remarked that her death isn’t “a failure of duty or a criminal act on the part of any performer.”
“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,” the actors union wrote.
“An actor’s job is not to be a firearms or weapons expert.”
Baldwin has contended that he received the gun from Halls – who declared the gun “cold” meaning it didn’t have live rounds in it – and that he didn’t pull the trigger on it.
Baldwin was holding a .45 revolver at the time of the shooting and it also injured director Joel Souza.
The actors union said that “performers train to perform” and aren’t expected to be gun experts or experienced with firearms.
“The industry assigns that responsibility to qualified professionals who oversee their use and handling in every aspect,” the union noted.
You can read the full statement from SAG-AFTRA below:
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.
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 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 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 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.