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Halyna Hutchins slammed ‘selfish producers cutting corners on safety’ before death

A close friend of Hutchins, Li Lu said, 'The last time we spoke, you lamented how producers on recent projects acted selfishly and dangerously'
Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed by actor Alec Baldwin with a prop gun in New Mexico (Halyna Hutchins/Instagram and Alec Baldwin/Instagram)
Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed by actor Alec Baldwin with a prop gun in New Mexico (Halyna Hutchins/Instagram and Alec Baldwin/Instagram)

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO: Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun during the shooting of western ‘Rust’, and killed the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, on Thursday, October 21, in the desert on the southern outskirts of Santa Fe. The director of the movie Joel Souza was wounded as well. Now it has come to light that before her untimely death, Hutchins slammed "selfish producers" for cutting corners on the film’s production.

As per reports, a close friend of Hutchins, writer, and director Li Lu posted a tribute on Instagram, claiming the cinematographer previously hit out at producers on recent projects for acting "selfishly and dangerously." In the post, she reportedly wrote: "Halyna, you were one of the hardest working people that I have ever met. You loved cinema - completely and utterly. You were a friend and colleague. You were a great mom.”


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She further wrote, "The last time we spoke, you lamented how producers on recent projects acted selfishly and dangerously. How people who finance films thought their money could be traded for the decency, safety, and honor of all else on set. How often we tell ourselves to 'buck up.' Because we are tough. Because as women, we gotta show we can take it. Because we must sacrifice, to achieve our dreams. It's not f***ing worth it. You deserve to be here. With your family."

As per The Sun, Lu also said, "I am beyond angry for you. Your family. Your boy. For us. We are all the same film family. Rest well. Li," and that she later added, "No more martyrs. Not only is there no reason to have any prop gun with live ammo these days - but to hear that they fired blanks on a f***ing rehearsal??? People need to go to jail. And stay in jail. And never work again."

In another Instagram post, Lu wrote, “Halyna was a true artist. She loved what she did. To our friends in Victoria, TX, she was the incredible cinematographer who started our 5-year journey together in March 2017.” She added, “I am profoundly sad and angry. Seeing your smile across the news is surreal. That smile encapsulated all of your passion and excitement for what you loved to do. For what we loved to do together.”


As per reports, the shot that killed Hutchins was fired as actor Baldwin was practicing drawing his gun, Souza said. Souza, who was shot in the shoulder, spoke to investigators Friday, according to the affidavit released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office on Sunday.

Souza told them Baldwin was "sitting in a pew in a church building setting, and he was practicing a cross draw," the affidavit said. A cross draw is when a shooter pulls the weapon from a holster on the opposite side of the body from the draw hand. Souza was looking over Hutchins' shoulder "when he heard what sounded like a whip and then loud pop," according to the affidavit. Souza recalled Hutchins "complaining about her stomach and grabbing her midsection" after the shot was fired, the document said.

The film's assistant director, David Halls, handed the prop gun to Baldwin before the shooting and yelled "cold gun." Halls had been the subject of complaints about safety and his behavior on set during two productions in 2019. The complaints against Halls include a disregard for safety protocols for weapons and pyrotechnics use, blocked fire lanes and exits, and instances of inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.

On the set of the film ‘Freedom's Path’ in 2019, Halls was reportedly serving as assistant director, when a gun "unexpectedly discharged" on set, causing a sound crew member to recoil from the blast and halting production, the production company Rocket Soul Studios said on Monday. Following the incident, Halls was removed from the set and fired from the production, the company said.

"Dave was very remorseful for the events, and understood the reasons he was being terminated," Rocket Soul Studios said. "A new assistant director as well as a new armorer were hired for the duration of principal photography."