Actor Alec Baldwin took to social media Thursday to boast about the results of a report released Wednesday by a New Mexico state agency on the shooting on the set of the movie Rust that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, which Baldwin’s lawyer claimed “exonerates” him.
Baldwin, who was both the star and a producer on the film, quoted a report from the New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau, tweeting “Alec Baldwin’s authority on the set included approving script changes and actor candidates.”
Amid reports of negligence on set, Baldwin has stated that his role as a producer on Rust was confined to creative decisions, and that he was not involved with budgeting or hiring crew members.
After the release of the OHSB report Wednesday, which fined Rust Movie Productions a maximum fine of $136,793 for not following firearm procedures on set which led to the deadly shooting, Baldwin posted a statement from his attorney saying the report “exonerates” him.
In addition to his creative role as a producer, Baldwin’s attorney pointed out that the report confirmed Baldwin believed the bullets in the weapon were dummy rounds, and not real ammunition.
Among the firearm violations listed in the report, the OHSB found the weapon that Baldwin shot was loaded and handed to him prior to the informal rehearsal during which the shooting happened, instead of directly before it was going to be used, as is required.
Another failure included pointing a firearm directly at someone, which is only allowed if the props master or armorer is consulted before doing so; the OHSB found assistant director Dave Halls did not consult either of these crew members before determining that pointing the gun directly at a person was “absolutely necessary.”
“Mr. Baldwin had no authority over the Bureau’s findings of violations, and we are pleased that the New Mexico officials have clarified these critical issues,” Baldwin’s attorney said.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department’s investigation into the shooting is still ongoing, and criminal charges have not been filed. Baldwin was sued by Hutchins’ family for wrongful death, and was named in other lawsuits from crew members claiming negligence on set. He has stated that he did not pull the trigger of the gun when it went off. Baldwin has also said that he was told by someone in the state that he will probably not be charged in the shooting. Hutchins’ widow Matthew said it is “absurd” that Baldwin, “the person holding the gun and causing it to discharge,” does not believe he is responsible for the death.