- According to multiple reports, the crew of the film Rust walked off set to protest against unsafe working conditions, shortly cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed.
- The crew was reportedly unhappy about working hours, long commutes and paycheck delays.
- Rust Movie Productions said in a statement: "Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review."
Multiple reports have revealed that shortly before cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed, the crew of the film Rust complained about unsafe working conditions and walked off set.
US actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun that killed the cinematographer and wounded the director on the film set in New Mexico.
According to the reports, camera operators and their assistants were unhappy about the film's conditions, including working hours, long commutes, and paycheck delays.
Deadline reported that a member of the camera crew wrote on a private Facebook page: "We cited everything, from lack of payment for three weeks, taking our hotels away despite asking for them in our deals, lack of Covid safety and on top of that, poor gun safety! Poor on-set safety period!"
Sources told the Los Angeles Times: "As the camera crew — members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees — spent about an hour assembling their gear at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, several non-union crew members showed up to replace them."
Two prop gun misfires reportedly occurred in the week prior to the incident.
In a statement to Deadline, Rust Movie Productions said: "The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company. Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down.
"We will continue to cooperate with the Santa Fe authorities in their investigation and offer mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time."
A search warrant from the sheriff's office, obtained by the Sante Fe Reporter, said the 63-year-old was unknowingly handed a loaded gun, AFP reported.
According to the affidavit, the armourer had placed three prop guns on a cart, one of which was picked up by an assistant director and handed to Baldwin, with the words "cold gun", which is industry jargon for a weapon that is not loaded. The assistant director "did not know live rounds were in the prop gun."
In a statement on Twitter on Friday, the SNL actor expressed his heartbreak.
"There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins," he wrote.