Alec Baldwin Responds To George Clooney's Comments About Gun Safety On Sets

Alec Baldwin speaks out about Rust gun safety incident to ABC News December 2021
(Image credit: ABC News)

Tragedy struck in late October when a prop gun was misfired on the set of Rust, leading to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins at the age of 42. Alec Baldwin was the actor handling the gun when the incident happened, leading a lot of eyes to be on the 30 Rock star for allegedly being unmindful of gun safety on set. As a criminal investigation continues to unfold and multiple crew members seek to sue Baldwin, many members of the Hollywood community have spoken out about the incident, including George Clooney, and Baldwin has now responded.

Last month, George Clooney reacted to the death of Halyna Hutchins by sharing his own experiences with prop guns and the prior incidents people close to him have died from due to a “series of stupid things.” Clooney shared that he always checks the gun himself before every single take. When Alec Baldwin went into depth about the incident to ABC News during an exclusive interview, George Stephanopoulos asked Baldwin about his thoughts on his fellow actor's comments. In Baldwin’s words: 

Well, there were a lot of people who felt it necessary to contribute some comment to the situation, which really didn't help the situation. At all. If your protocol is you check the gun every time, well, good for you. I've probably handled weapons as much as any other actor in films with an average career. Again, shooting or being shot by someone. And in that time, I had a protocol, and it never let me down.

As Alec Baldwin shared in the recent interview, in which he also claimed that he didn’t “pull the trigger” on the gun that killed Halyna Hutchins, he was alwys taught that it was the prop department’s responsibility to check guns and thus have spent his career trusting that process. That seems to be something that Clooney disagrees with considering what the actor shared on WTF with Marc Maron prior to the ABC News interview. As Clooney put it: 

Every single time I’m handed a gun on set, every time, they hand me a gun, I look at it, I open it, I show it to the person I’m pointing it to, we show it to the crew. Every single take, you hand it back to the armorer when you’re done. You do it again… everyone does it. Everybody knows it.

The Tender Bar director's words adds some complexity to the conversation around the Rust incident because it begs the question whether Alec Baldwin should be held responsible for not checking the gun that would kill Halyna Hutchins. What still doesn’t add up about the situation is in regards to the live bullet that Baldwin explained was reportedly found following the tragic incident that happened on set. 

The Emmy-winning actor said he chose to speak to ABC News about what happened on the Rust set from his perspective because there are a number of things happening, between the criminal investigation, civil litigation and the public’s “misconceptions” about what happened. He felt he needed to speak about the incident sooner than later, rather than let months go by without addressing it. We here at CinemaBlend will keep you updated on how this unfortunate event continues to unfold.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.