Crew member who gave actor Alec Baldwin gun was subject of complaint

Published 26 Oct, 2021 10:33am

Baldwin fired a prop gun on a film set last week, killing the director of photography and wounding the director.

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

A crew member says she has raised safety concerns in the past about the assistant director who authorities say unwittingly handed actor Alec Baldwin the prop gun that killed a cinematographer on a film set.

Maggie Goll, a prop maker and licensed pyrotechnician, said in a statement that she filed an internal complaint with the executive producers of Hulu's Into the Dark series in 2019 over concerns about assistant director Dave Halls behaviour on set.

Goll said in a phone interview on Sunday that Halls disregarded safety protocols for weapons and pyrotechnics and tried to continue filming after the supervising pyrotechnician lost consciousness on set.

Halls has not returned phone calls and email messages seeking comment.

Last week’s fatal shooting and some of her previous experiences point to larger safety issues that need to be addressed, Goll said, adding that crew member safety and wellbeing are top issues in ongoing contract negotiations between a union that represents film and TV workers and a major producers’ group.

“This situation is not about Dave Halls. ... It's in no way one persons fault,” she said. “It’s a bigger conversation about safety on set and what we are trying to achieve with that culture.”

Baldwin fired a prop gun on the New Mexico set of the film Rust on Thursday, killing 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza, who was standing behind her.

The gun Baldwin used was one of three that a firearms specialist, or armourer, had set on a cart outside the building where a scene was being rehearsed, according to court records. Halls grabbed a gun off a cart and handed it to Baldwin, indicating that the weapon was safe by yelling cold gun,” court papers say.

But it was loaded with live rounds, according to the records.

Baldwin, 63, who is known for his roles in 30 Rock and The Hunt for Red October and his impression of former President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, has described the killing as a tragic accident.

Originally published in Dawn, October 26th, 2021