Rust AD Dave Halls Pleads For Industry Change Following Apparent Gross Negligence

While most of the news surrounding the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of "Rust" has focused on the working conditions of the crew and the lead-up to the tragic accident, Alec Baldwin recently spoke about the movie itself. According to TMZ, Baldwin doesn't believe "Rust" will commence shooting anytime soon, if ever. When asked directly about the likelihood of getting back on set, Baldwin responded, "No, I doubt it ... I sincerely doubt it."

Considering the criminal investigation that's currently underway, and the fact that Baldwin knows more than the average actor since he's also one of the many producers on the film, I'd take him at his word. Baldwin also went on to explain that he supports changing the rules around firearms on film sets, saying:

 "Some new measures have to take place ... Rubber guns, plastic guns, no real armaments on the set. That's not for me to decide ... I'm not an expert in this field. So whatever other people decide is the best way to go, in terms of protecting people's safety on film sets, I'm all in favor of — I will cooperate with that in any way that I can."

In related news, California Senator Dave Cortese has been getting input from the state's legislative counsel regarding a bill that would restrict the use of live ammunition on movie sets. As the chair of the Senate Labor Committee, Cortese said that the legislation would ban the use of firearms capable of shooting live ammunition of any kind, though there would be exceptions for security purposes only. Cortese said his goal is "that everybody uniformly is complying to the same rules and knows that there are legal consequences if they don't."

Rust AD Shares His Thoughts

And Baldwin isn't the only one speaking out about that deadly day on set. Assistant director David Halls, who reportedly yelled "cold gun" before handing Baldwin the firearm that would kill Hutchins, reached out to the New York Post to make his feelings known. In his first statement to the press, Halls focused on Hutchins' death and also commented on how he believes the industry needs to change:

"Halyna Hutchins was not just one of the most talented people I've worked with, but also a friend ... I'm shocked and saddened by her death ... It's my hope that this tragedy prompts the industry to reevaluate its values and practices to ensure no one is harmed through the creative process again."

One thing that is missing from Halls' statement is his role in the events, which isn't surprising considering that ongoing investigation. A lot of the news coming out about the on-set conditions of "Rust" has focused on Halls and whether or not he thoroughly checked the gun before handing it off to Baldwin. A search warrant affidavit filed by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office even stated that Halls "could only remember seeing three rounds. He advised he should have checked all of them, but didn't, and couldn't recall if she [armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed] spun the drum." Meaning he gave Baldwin the gun after having seen that it was loaded with three rounds, clearly unsure if they were dummies, blanks, or real bullets. Yet he shirks responsibility, saying he wasn't sure if Gutierrez-Reed had spun the drum or not. Ultimately, both were negligent in their duties on set. Now, however, the coverage of the case has shifted focus to Halls' ironic plea for heightened safety protocols on sets. 

On that note, there have been reports that a "Rust" crew member warned producers that Halls had a history of not prioritizing safety and had put people in danger on previous projects. The same is true of Gutierrez-Reed

We'll have to wait and see what the investigation yields in terms of what actually happened that day on the set of "Rust." In the meantime, we'll keep you updated as more information becomes available.