Actor Alec Baldwin, who killed a woman and injured another on the set of “Rust,” is attempting to put the tragedy in context by claiming that the death rate in Hollywood is marginal in comparison to other industries, including aviation, automobile and opioids.
Speaking at the Boulder International Film Festival on Saturday night, the “Glengarry Glen Ross” actor suggested that the lawsuits targeting him are simply “financially motivated.”
“From the beginning, from the moment this happened, everybody has put out — besides all the anguish and the suffering, horrible feelings we have and, of course, there are two victims and nobody else is a victim, so to speak — we have dealt with a situation where specific people are not as interested in finding out what really happened,” said Baldwin in an interview that was attended by the Hollywood Reporter.
“What you have is a certain group of litigants on whatever side, who their attitude is, well, the people who likely seem negligent have enough money. And the people who have money are not negligent, but we’re not gonna let that stop us from doing what we need to do in terms of litigation. Why sue people if you’re not going to get money? That’s what you’re doing,” he added.
Baldwin then drew a comparison between accidents in the film industry in comparison to others that see more deaths on average, beseeching his audience to “think of all the billions of rounds of ammunition that were fired on movies and TV sets in the last 75 years, and four people have died.”
“Compare that record to the opioid industry, the airline industry, the automobile industry, the gun industry itself,” he continued.
The Hollywood Reporter details how the actor then brought up the safety record of the film and television industry, and recounted how his own career in movies had been “without incidents.” He insisted that he “never had a problem” by relying on the “safety experts,” suggesting that the discharge on the set of “Rust” was the fault of the armourer and others who would have been responsible for gun safety on the set.
“When someone whose job it is to ensure the safety of the weapon hands someone else whose job was to be the secondary layer of protection for safety, and they hand it over to and you declare that that weapon is safe — that’s how I’ve lived my whole life,” he added. “I’ve relied on the safety experts there to declare the gun is safe and hand me the gun. Never had a problem.”
Moving forward, Baldwin predicted that movies made in the future will rely on computer-generated imagery, and limit the use of real firearms on the set.
“The thing to remember is that guns are fired in films because that’s what audiences want. Maybe not this crowd,” he said. “Maybe not a festival crowd where you want to watch something that’s a little more complicated. There’s a place to modify the safety regulations we have to deal with and I’m very much looking forward to our decisions.”
Concluding his interview, Baldwin said that he’s “very hopeful” when more details come out that “we will not be held criminally responsible, but it has changed my life.”
“And I don’t mean this in the ordinary sense that I was involved in something or somebody passed,” he added. “I mean, I was involved in a situation with somebody [who] was killed. It’s changed my life just in terms of the function of weapons in films and television.”