Alec Baldwin‘s brother Daniel claimed the actor has been made a scapegoat over the fatal on-set shooting of a cinematographer because ‘he’s opinionated’ and has ‘really staunch’ political views.
Daniel appeared on The Domenick Nati Show on Monday, which was livestreamed on Instagram. During the show, Daniel, 61, insisted that despite the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins at the elder Baldwin’s ‘hand,’ ‘Alec has no blame in this at all’ because the death is attributed to the failed protocols by others on the set of Rust, a western that Alec, 63, stars in and produces.
He pointed to the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who loaded the gun – with live ammunition instead of blanks. Daniel also noted that the weapon was then picked up by the assistant director, Dave Halls, who announced that the revolver was ‘cold,’ signaling to cast and crew that he witnessed and approved that the gun was safe to fire for the scene.
After this announcement, the assistant director handed the weapon to Alec to use in the scene, according to the police report.
‘A number of protocols that have been made known to the public and known in this case exonerate Alec of any responsibility at all,’ Daniel told Nati.
Daniel Baldwin (bottom) appeared on The Domenick Nati Show (Nati pictured above) insisting that his brother Alec is being made a scapegoat for the fatal shooting on his movie set for Rust because of his ‘really staunch views’
Alec Baldwin has been named in a lawsuit by the film’s head of lighting Serge Svetnoy, accusing him and other producers of negligence on the Rust set
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot on set by Baldwin when a prop gun loaded with live ammunition was cleared for use in a scene
He continued: ‘Alec, he’s crushed by this. I mean he loved this woman. He loves what he does. And he feels terrible that this horrendous accident has occurred. But he bares no responsibility for it all.’
Daniel believes that his brother is being attacked for this crime because of his ‘staunch’ political views.
‘You know this is what he faces because he’s opinionated and he’s strong-headed and he has really staunch views on certain things and those people who don’t like him will take advantage of him.’
Alec is very vocal about his views – including gun control – and has often taken to social media to share his opinions. For several years, Alec parodied then-president Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, for which he has received backlash from Trump, his associates and supporters.
In 2018, Alec joined the No Rifle Association (NoRA), a celebrity coalition aiming to expose the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) alleged hold on the government. The group worked to encourage voter registration, demonstrations and boycotts to diminish the power of the NRA.
He has also singled out specific gun rights proponents including former NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch. He once tweeted: ‘I see that @DLoesch wants to “take back the truth.“’
‘And she doesn’t care how many dead bodies she has to step over in that pursuit. The Second Amendment is not a moral credit card that buys you all the guns you want. That law needs to be rethought.’
Following the announcement of the deadly tragedy on-set, conservatives took the chance to comment on the news – including Candace Owens, who called the shooting ‘poetic justice,’ and Donald Trump Jr., who began selling a pro-gun shirt on his website mocking: ‘Guns don’t kill people, Alec Baldwin kills people.’
More recently, fellow actor George Clooney spoke out about the horrific tragedy saying that it was ‘insane’ and ‘infuriating’ that live bullets were on the set of the movie, adding that he has never heard the term ‘cold gun’ used to describe a firearm that is safe to use on set.
But on Monday, Daniel shifted the blame to the ‘pros that handle this stuff.’ He claims that Halls announcement that the weapon was safe to use ‘exonerates’ Alec of any responsibility for the death.
He also pointed to the fact that live rounds shouldn’t be in the armorer’s facility to begin with. Daniel said his opinion is that ‘the initial buck and all of the responsibility of the weapon fall on the armorer’ but the assistant director is responsible for the second layer of protection.
Noting the ‘two layers of protection that both seem to have screwed the pooch,’ referring to Gutierrez-Reed and Halls. ‘There are things that went on that are just mind-boggling to me that break every rule I was ever taught.’
‘Protocols are set up by these professionals that handle weapons and handle the safety of a set’ but reiterated his claim that these ‘rules weren’t followed.’
Donald Trump Jr. began selling a pro-gun shirt on his site mocking Alec and the fatal shooting after the news broke. The shirt read: ‘Guns don’t kill people, Alec Baldwin kills people’
Daniel insist that armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed (left) and assistant director Dave Halls (right) hold responsibility for Hutchins’ death
Baldwin is named as a producer and actor on Rust. Filming has been halted since the tragedy
Clooney recently spoke out about the horrific tragedy saying that it was ‘insane’ and ‘infuriating’ that live bullets were on the set of the movie.
The Hollywood star added he has never heard the term ‘cold gun’ used to describe a firearm that is safe to use on set, after the phrase was supposedly used by the film’s assistant director before handing the revolver to Baldwin.
Clooney said the fatal shooting was a ‘terrible accident’ but claimed Halls should never have been near the prop gun and was in disbelief that it occurred after rigorous safety measures implemented following the on-set deaths of Brandon Lee and Jon-Erik Hexum.
He said whenever he is handed a gun on set, he opens it, shows it to the person he’s pointing it at and the crew, fires it six times into the ground before handing it back to the armorer after each scene.
Speaking on the WTF podcast with Marc Maron, the actor also accused Rust of ‘skimping’ on costs which led to the hiring of inexperienced armorers in an apparent dig at Baldwin who was a producer on the film.
Baldwin is being sued for his alleged role in the horrific incident and has been named along with other producers in a lawsuit by the film’s head of lighting Serge Svetnoy, accusing him of negligence.
Hutchins was fatally shot in October on the set of Baldwin’s Western film, Rust. Director Joel Souza was also hit and injured in the incident.
It was later revealed that the gun loaded by Gutierrez-Reed contained live-ammunition instead of blank rounds. The 24-year-old armorer has been accused of being ‘careless’ and inexperienced as the lead armorer on the set.
Baldwin and Hutchins (circled) are pictured together on the set of Rust, in an image that she uploaded to Instagram two days ago saying the crew of the film were supporting a strike by the IATSE union
The set of Rust was reportedly experiencing many issues which led to several members of the crew walking off set hours before the horrific tragedy
A vehicle from the Office of the Medical Investigator enters the front gate leading to the Bonanza Creek Ranch the day after the fatal shooting
A source who worked alongside Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 24, on an previous film set said she has a history of recklessness around guns.
‘She was a bit careless with the guns, waving it around every now and again,’ the source told The Daily Beast. ‘There were a couple times she was loading the blanks and doing it in a fashion that we thought was unsafe.’
Another source accused Gutierrez-Reed of loading a weapon on the pebble-filled ground and handing it to child actress, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, 11, without conducting a proper inspection.
‘She was reloading the gun on the ground, where there were pebbles and stuff. We didn’t see her check it, we didn’t know if something got in the barrel or not,’ a source who worked with her set of the upcoming Nicolas Cage film, The Old Way, said.
The individual noted that the crew waited to film until Gutierrez-Reed had double checked the barrel for obstruction.
In a previous podcast interview Gutierrez-Reed admitted she found loading blanks into a gun ‘the scariest’ thing because she did not know how to do it and had sought help from her father, legendary gunsmith Thell Reed, to get over the fear.
The fatal shooting on the set of Rust wasn’t the first time that the set had experienced issues with weapons.
Deadline cited an unnamed source who said a gun had gone off ‘in a cabin’ while someone was holding it, days prior to the shooting that killed Hutchins.
‘A gun had two misfires in a closed cabin. They just fired loud pops – a person was just holding it in their hands and it went off,’ they said, apparently referring to unintentional discharges.
The movie had been experiencing many problems on set leading several members of the production crew to walk off set hours before the fatal shooting.