The legal proceedings following the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins on the set of Alec Baldwin‘s Western “Rust” are still ongoing. Alongside prosecution announcements, California State Senator Dave Cortese is trying, once again, to pass legislation to prevent such accidents from happening again. Last year’s attempt to pass the bill failed in the Appropriations Committee.
Cortese hopes pushing for greater safety steps on film sets will help prevent potential accidents before they happen. The senator announced he’d been working hard to redraft the bill. The legislation itself seeks to introduce a “set safety supervisor” on sets. The duties would include inspection of and governance of the use of blanks and firearms on set.
“Over the past several months, I’ve been working with stakeholders and leaders in the industry, including many entertainment workers, to push these real reforms forward and to avoid yet another tragedy on set…this is an issue that needs to be addressed across the industry, rather than incident-by-incident, to bolster safety as a whole and ensure we keep productions safe for everyone.”
Enraged by Hollywood’s Stubbornness
Sen. Anthony Portantino also made attempts to introduce a similar bit of legislation in 2022, which similar results to Cortese’s. Portantino’s bill also failed despite support from industry unions such as SAG-AFTRA, Hollywood Teamsters, and the Director’s Guild of America, to name a few. Even being the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee didn’t help. Portantino couldn’t get the labor and management stakeholders to agree on a singular approach to the bill. A disappointing result for all concerned parties.
The rejection of the bill elicited a retort from Senator Cortese, chiding Hollywood for being ruthless and abusive of their power. “First the industry killed Halyna,” he said. “Then they killed the bill that would’ve made people like her safe. I call upon the motion picture and television industry to immediately cooperate with our legislative efforts to codify safety protocols and ensure set safety supervision.”
It has pushed Cortese to work twice as hard and calls on the motion picture industry to fall in line with protocols that only serve to increase safety.
Both Baldwin and production armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed face two charges each of involuntary manslaughter. Formal charges are expected to be filed before the end of the month.