Alec Baldwin took to social media on Monday to share his idea to make film and TV sets that use firearms more safe — hire police officers.
The 63-year-old actor has been at the heart of an ongoing debate in Hollywood about the use of real guns during production after an on-set accident involving him left “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead and director Joel Souza wounded. As investigators look into what caused the deadly incident, specifically how live ammunition made its way onto the set in the first place, many are placing the blame on Baldwin as well as the handful of other people who handled the firearm prior to the accidental shooting incident.
On Monday, Baldwin issued a rare social media post since the tragedy to note that he believes having a police presence paid for by networks or studios would lead to fewer gun-related mishaps.
“Every film/TV set that uses guns, fake or otherwise, should have a police officer on set, hired by the production, to specifically monitor weapons safety,” he wrote Monday.
The actor shared an image of a tweet from his now-private account on his public Instagram, where he previously spoke out to share a lengthy statement about the conditions on the set of “Rust” prior to the shooting.
His pitch is not dissimilar from the rules that are already in place for film productions in New York City, one of the world’s most densely populated film centers. Productions are required to adhere to a code of conduct that spells out rules for parking, notifying neighbors and other details, including specifying that the sound of gunshots should not ring outdoors between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. For use of a weapon or prop firearm, the city also requires authorization from the police department and an officer to be on set.
Baldwin’s idea to make movie sets across the board adhere to these guidelines to make them safer seemingly takes things a step beyond what other productions have pledged to do. ABC’s “The Rookie,” for example, announced that it will no longer use real guns on its sets, opting instead to use fake weapons and add in realistic sounds and muzzle flare via VFX. That pledge was followed by a collection of 200 of Hutchins colleagues in cinematography, who signed an open letter stating that they will not work on sets that have real firearms on them.
“Halyna Hutchins was an incredible rising cinematographer who passionately loved her job and cared about the images she created. She was a friend, a colleague, a part of our cinematography community. Her death on October 21, 2021 by a live firearm expelled on the set of the film ‘Rust’ was senseless, negligent and avoidable,” the statement reads.
The open letter echoes sentiments previously made in a Change.org petition that emerged shortly after Hutchins’ death that was started by filmmaker Bandar Albuliwi that called on Baldwin and others in the industry to use their influence to affect change when it comes to firearms on movie and TV sets.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.