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Rust Gaffer Blasts Safety Measures -- Says Halyna Hutchins' Death Was Result Of 'Negligence And Unprofessionalism'

Rust Gaffer Blasts Safety Measures -- Says Halyna Hutchins Death Was Result Of 'Negligence And Unprofessionalism'

More crew members are speaking out about the tragedy that took Halyna Hutchins‘ life and injured director Joel Souza on the set of Rust last week.

As we’ve been reporting, an investigation is currently taking place to determine how Alec Baldwin could have been handled a loaded weapon on the set of the western film. Fingers have been pointed at first assistant director Dave Halls, who reportedly has a history of failing to prioritize safety on set. Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the 24-year-old armorer, is also facing a ton of heat.

Now, in a scathing Facebook post shared on Sunday, Serge Svetnoy, the chief electrician (AKA the gaffer) is stating his case for who’s to blame for the horrifying accidental shooting — namely blaming the producers and Hannah!

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Serge, whose top credits include action-packed films Act of Valor, Archenemy, and The Second Front, detailed where he was when the traumatic incident occurred. It’s a pretty harrowing description, FYI. He recalled:

“Yes, I was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Halyna during this fatal shot that took her life and injured the director Joel Souza. I was holding her in my arms while she was dying. Her blood was on my hands. I want to tell my opinion on why this has happened. I think I have the right to do it.”

We simply cannot imagine the trauma that must have caused him, especially since he had worked with Halyna for “almost all her films,” calling her, “with 100% confidence,” his “friend.” Through this immense grief, the gaffer blasted budget restrictions and “unprofessionalism” from his colleagues, arguing:

“It’s the fault of negligence and unprofessionalism. The negligence from the person who was supposed to check the weapon on the site did not do this; the person who had to announce that the loaded gun was on the site did not do this; the person who should have checked this weapon before bringing it to the set did not do it. And the DEATH OF THE HUMAN IS THE RESULT!”

Svetnoy also made it pretty clear who he blamed the most. Without naming names, he seemed to call out Rust armorer Reed, a rookie who admitted to learning the tricks of her trade mostly on “my own” while chatting with  the Voices of the West podcast last month. The angry crew member furthered:

“I’m sure that we had the professionals in every department, but one – the department that was responsible for the weapons. There is no way a twenty-four-year-old woman can be a professional with armory; there is no way that her more-or-less the same-aged friend from school, neighborhood, Instagram, or God knows where else, can be a professional in this field.”

The statement continued:

“Professionals are the people who have spent years on sets, people who know this job from A to Z; These are the people who have the safety on set at the level of reflexes; they do not need to be told to put the sandbag on a tripod, fix the ladder on the stage, or fence off the explosion site. They have it in their blood.”

These skills, which can only become second nature with years of practice, are so important when striving for a safe set! It’s also why up-and-coming talent should be mentored in their field to see how professionals get the job done without risking lives. Just because you’re making a western doesn’t mean it should feel like the wild, wild, west on set!

Related: Alec Baldwin Breaks Silence After Accidental Shooting On Rust Set

We can understand why Serge would be frustrated to see the Rust producers opt for a less experienced armorer just to save a few bucks. On this decision, he slammed those in charge, adding:

“We have a fascinating and amazing job, but it’s also dangerous. We film in the mountains, in the open water, underwater. We have explosions, shooting guns, car crashes, electricity after all, and much more. To save a dime sometimes. You hire people who are not fully qualified for the complicated and dangerous job, and you risk the lives of the other people who are close and your lives as well. I understand that you always fight for the budget, but you cannot allow this to happen.”

Expressing sympathy for Hutchins’ husband Matt and son Andros, as well as the actor who fired the fatal shot, Serge urged the producers to do better:

“It is true that the professionals can cost a little more and sometimes can be a little bit more demanding, but it is worth it. No saved penny is worth the LIFE of the person!”

You can say that again!! Though we should remind readers that Alec also serves as an executive producer of the movie, so he’s not entirely in the clear even if the gunshot was an accident. His leadership (or potential lack thereof) could have been what led to this devastating incident.  As others have pointed out, this was an avoidable loss if those in charge had enforced stricter safety protocols…

Read Serge’s full post (below).

Thoughts, Perezcious readers? It seems new insight into this set continues to cast a negative light on the production. Let us know what you’re thinking (below).

[Image via Halyna Hutchins/Instagram & FayesVision/WENN]

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Oct 25, 2021 14:38pm PDT