Alec Baldwin, Charged at Last

It finally happened. Alec Baldwin has been charged in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. As you may recall, the fatal shooting took place on the set of Baldwin’s movie “Rust” on October 21, 2021, but it took until this week for a New Mexico district attorney to indict the actor. Does anyone think a non-celebrity would have waited quite so long? 

Baldwin is facing two counts of involuntary manslaughter alongside the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. In addition, the assistant director of the film, David Halls has entered a plea agreement, pleading no-contest to the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon. 

While many elites have been quick to come to the defense of Baldwin, the prosecution’s statement of probable cause gives insight into the charges.

“On the day of the shooting alone, evidence shows that no less than a dozen acts, or omissions of recklessness, occurred in the short time prior to lunch and the time of the shooting, and this does not include the reckless handling of the firearm by Baldwin,” the statement declares. “Baldwin, by act or omission or failure to act in his position as a producer, directly contributed and/or failed to mitigate numerous reckless and dangerous actions during a very short time period.”

The statement further details the negligence of Baldwin and other crew members, including the lack of proper firearms training on set and the fact that the scene required no firing of the weapon. 

Well, if you ask Baldwin, he never pulled the trigger. Maybe if he had actually attended firearms training prior to the shoot, he would understand how stupid that excuse is. Or maybe he does understand and is relying on the ignorance of others. Will he still claim “the gun fired itself” when he’s under oath.

Despite the charges, the disgraced actor is being allowed to keep his role as the lead in the film when production resumes—assuming it ever does. Baldwin faces up to five years in prison if convicted. 

Baldwin’s lawyer also released a confident statement in his defense, saying “Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun—or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”

Be that as it may, anyone with more than two minutes of firearm safety training knows that you should always check to see if the gun is loaded and, even then, never point it at anyone.

Support for Baldwin has been pouring out from his Hollywood compatriots. Frances Fisher, Baldwin’s co-star in the film, tweeted: “Anyone NOT in the industry or who has not worked on a set should STFU—you’re showing your ignorance.”

Actor Mickey Rourke shared an image of Baldwin with a caption that read, “I usually never put my 2 cents in about what happens on someone’s movie set. It’s a terrible tragedy what happened to a cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. But no way in hell actor Alec Baldwin should be charged with any negligence whatsoever.”

The Screen Actors Guild also defended Baldwin. “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 union said in a statement. “An actor’s job is not to be a firearms or weapons expert.”

The case against Baldwin offers three vital lessons. First, if you’re a celebrity, the justice system will give you preferential treatment even if you do eventually get charged. Second, it seems Hollywood will cancel and ostracize all but those most deserving of the treatment. Finally, there’s a major problem with celebrities vilifying firearms instead of taking the time to train properly because they can just prance around with them on movie sets and be protected by their armed security in the real world. 

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About Tim Young

Tim Young is the media and culture critic for American Greatness.

Photo: Alec Baldwin at a cafe on April 3, 2022 in Rome. (MEGA/Getty Images)

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