Union members walked off ‘Rust’ set over safety issues, text message claims

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Union members walked off 'Rust' set over safety issues, text message claims

Union members walked off the set of “Rust” hours before Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun that killed the film’s cinematographer — and cited “poor gun safety” as one of the reasons for the move, according to a text message obtained by The Post.

An unidentified woman claiming to be a union member on the Baldwin-produced movie said the crew was upset about their hotels and poor COVID protocols — but most worried about an overall lack of safety on the set, especially gun safety.

“The entire camera crew walked off that morning for that exact reason,” the person wrote in part of the text obtained by The Post from an IATSE union member. “Last night we wrote resignation letters. We cited everything from lack of payment for three weeks, taking our hotels away despite asking for them in our deals, lack of COVID safety (and on) top of that, poor gun safety! Poor on set safety, period! We wrote about this exact issue last night and walked this morning because of it!”

Text from "Rust" crew member
A text from a “Rust” crew member.

The woman said that the cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, 42, and another member were the only ones who remained on the set. Hutchins was a member of IATSE Local 600 and had reportedly been vocal about wanting better safety conditions for the crew prior to her death.

“They brought in 4 non-union guys to replace us and tried calling the cops on us. Only people who stayed were Halyna (the DP) and Reid the B Steadi Op,” the text reads. “She had a kid, man, can’t believe it.”

Halyna Hutchins
Halyna Hutchins reportedly stayed on the set after the union members walked off.
Getty Images for SAGindie
Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun that killed Hutchins and injured the film’s director.
Jim Weber/The New Mexican

The Post has reached out to Santa Fe police but they did not respond to calls made Saturday morning.

The prop gun had reportedly misfired twice on Oct. 16 and once the week before. The Post reported Friday prop master who handled the gun was “just brought in” amid a protest over conditions on the set, The Post has learned.

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