Actor Alec Baldwin just shared a letter from the cast and crew of “Rust” to his Instagram page.
There have been allegations that the set of the Western film was “unsafe” and “chaotic,” with employees walking off set and quitting the project due to unsafe working conditions only days before the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
In a new letter written by “the cast and crew of the film production,” they allege that the letter has “not been sanctioned or influenced in any way by the producers.” The letter begins by saying that “the public narrative surrounding our workplace tragedy to be inadequate and [we] wish to express a more accurate account of our experience.”
‘We Are Hurting From The Loss Of Our Friend and Colleague, Halyna Hutchins’
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The letter calls Hutchins “the heart of our production.” They called Hutchins’ work ethic “inspiring” and said that “we were working to our highest ability to support her vision.”
The letter adds that “we are hurting from the loss of our togetherness, our spirit, and the loss of our labor. We are hurting for our friends that have been targeted by the public as they themselves grieve.”
They continue to say that “Rust” was a “professional” film set and that, “like any production, ‘Rust’ had areas of brilliance and areas that were more challenging.” The letter continues to say that “The descriptions of ‘Rust’ as a chaotic, dangerous, and exploitative workplace are false” and that they distract from the memory of Hutchins.
“While it is true that a few crew members quit prior to the accident, the vast majority of us remained, never feeling the need to protest or quit,” the letter went on. “We were enjoying our workplace. Those disgruntled few do not represent the views of all of us.”
They described working morale on set as “high” and stated that “laughter and optimism were common amongst cast and crew. From the director down to the production assistants, all departments worked well together, collaborating and helping each other achieve shared artistic goals. We were aware that we were producing good work; capturing beautiful imagery and great performances, and we were proud to do so. The work was hard, but meaningful.”
The cast and crew members go on to say that “producers and production managers were supportive of our efforts. They were on site daily, and engaged with the crew, sharing in the same creative process. We felt that we were not just working for them, but with them. They availed themselves during safety meetings to discuss any and all safety or other concerns.”
They concluded the message by asking that “your speculation and generalization about us and our colleagues be sympathetic until an investigation is concluded.”
Social Media Reacts With Skepticism And Support
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The comments on Baldwin’s letter made some doubt the validity of the message, while others were filled with nothing but support for the cast, crew, and Baldwin himself.
“This is all so over the top it’s seeming like less of an accident,” wrote one user.
“Lol…. payments were made…. generally on time… while working 72 hour work weeks….. yeah, and you wonder how someone made a fatal mistake,” another commented.
“Glad this was posted,” another wrote. “Folks who have no experience or real world knowledge of movie sets need to take heed & be respectful & allow this tragedy to be investigated by the proper authorities.”
“It’s sad that so much drama has to be involved,” said another. “Someone died and the media doesn’t care who they hurt. It’s gossip to them, not someone’s life.”
“Alec, this must be very hard on you and I would recommend not getting on social media, doing interviews and take time to recover from what happened,” suggested another fan.
Another fan wrote, “Ima say what a lot of people are thinking. Maybe stop posting about it? It’s not helping at all. It’s sad but public attention is short. Writing this isn’t going to change public narrative. If you are worried about public narrative, let this cool down. You keep reviving and opening the door for commentary. Let the wave pass this way only the people that are involved can deal with it appropriately.”