We have all heard enough of Baldwin’s excuses. Once again, he has made national headlines with all the additional evidence released this past week.
Many people out there want to leave him off the hook, saying, “Blame the person whose job it was to make sure the gun was safe to use cuz it sure as hell ain’t the actor.”
In Baldwin’s interview with George Stephanopoulos, he said, “The actor’s responsibility is to do what the prop armorer tells them to do.” The problem with this line of thought is it was his “job” and “responsibility.”
The Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG) safety bulletins and guidelines state:
“AS AN ACTOR, YOU ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY AND THE SAFETY Of YOUR FELLOW CAST MEMBERS. Production management and crew are responsible for creating and maintaining safe conditions, but it is your right and responsibility to double check the set up to ensure your own safety.” And “Treat all weapons as though they are loaded.”
Baldwin is also a member of the Actor’s Equity Association. It has its own set of guidelines for gun use.
“Check the firearm every time you take possession of it. Before each use, make sure the gun has been test-fired off stage and then ASK TO TEST FIRE IT YOURSELF..”
For the sake of argument, let’s assume everyone on the Rust movie set was an absolute idiot. Baldwin has been around the block enough to know he didn’t follow industry best practices because he has sat through hundreds if not thousands of safety meetings on other movies he’s been in during his four decades in the business.
Oh, and did I mention there were at least two negligent discharges on the set in the days before he fired the shot? Anyone with some common sense should realize they might want to triple-check the gun.
Some people have pointed out that there was no specific law broken. Still, there is the “reasonable person standard” that any good district attorney could argue applies here. If 9 out of 10 productions are following the same industry “guidelines,” then the question becomes why the Rust production didn’t. Since Balwin was also a producer, he was responsible for following industry best practices as the “manager” of the production. That opens a totally different realm of legal issues that could lead to negligence being proved. He not only fired the gun, but he was one of the people in charge of the entire operation. It’s not like it was his first movie and after the previous negligent discharges, you would have thought he would put some additional safety measures into place as someone in charge of the operation.
Any time anyone puts their hands on a firearm, it is their responsibility and obligation to do so safely and not endanger other people.
He is a vocal advocate for stronger gun control laws, so why isn’t he out pushing for strict “common sense” rules and procedures in movie productions?
Just because you’re used to having someone do everything for you doesn’t make you any less culpable. If Baldwin is going to be negligent in what he does and he doesn’t feel guns are safe, he should not be allowed to touch one. Maybe he should cut his finger off since it appears it had a mind of its own.