Alec Baldwin has reposted on his Instagram a comment from a “Rust” crew member who wrote a lengthy defense of the film’s producers and pushed back on reports of “chaotic conditions” on set that she says are “bulls—.”
Baldwin, who was a lead actor and producer on the film, shared seven screengrabs from a social media comment by Terese Magpale Davis, an industry costume designer, who says she was on set of “Rust” and is “sick of this narrative” that has surrounded the “Rust” story.
“I worked on this movie. The story being spun of us being overworked and surrounded by unsafe, chaotic conditions is bulls—,” Davis wrote.
Davis addresses the fact that the camera crew on set of “Rust” walked off the film the day that Halyna Hutchins was killed, with media reports and police reports citing complaints of the crew needing to commute from hotels in Albuquerque to Santa Fe in order to get to set, as well as other complaints about long hours and safety issues. Davis says that the complaints about long hours and even the commute were overblown, and she further claims that the crew tried to renegotiate their contracts midway through the shoot and “hold the producers over a barrel by walking out.”
“The camera crew HAD hotels. They just didn’t feel they were fancy enough. NOT that they were unsafe. You can’t tell me that 5 big men felt so unsafe in their hotel but were fine sleeping in their cars in parking lots (which never happened) like they also claimed,” she wrote. They literally said they deserved more money and NICER hotels than the rest of the crew because they were BETTER than the rest of the crew. These guys are not heroes. They only cared about themselves.”
Davis then defended the producers as working “tirelessly” alongside the crew, as well as listening to demands and concerns of all involved.
“They were some of the most approachable and warm producers I’ve ever worked with. Concerns were heard and addressed. Even these camera jerks were being heard and they were given what they asked for many times until it became too much,” Davis said. “Some of these producers waived their entire fees to make sure we could make this movie and pay for things like hotels for everyone who asked.”
Among some of Davis’ other claims, she said “Rust” had a union rep that advised producers not to give into demands that were not required by the union. She also pushed back on the notion that the “non-union” workers that were hired in place of the crew that quit were inexperienced, citing a New Mexico “overflow” list from which the production had union approval to hire from.
Davis also defended the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, whom TheWrap has reported about a previous incident on set of the Nicolas Cage film “The Old Way” and whom has been criticized for inexperience. And she defended “Rust” assistant director Dave Halls, who was also reported to have been fired from a film in 2019 over safety concerns and told police that he was unsure if he had fully checked the barrel of the gun that discharged.
“The armorer had apprenticed to a well known armorer and had been in the same position on the same type of movie a few months before. Was she the most experienced person? No. Were her qualifications typical for a Tier One? Yes,” Davis said. “How do you suggest producers and UPMa sort out the people worth giving that shot to from the people who just look good on their resume and have great references? Because Hannah had both.”
She continued: “We had several safety meetings. Sometimes multipole [sic] per day. Our AD never seemed flippant about safety. He may have in other shows, but he wasn’t like that on ours.”
Davis said that Halls “screwed up majorly that day” and was “heartbroken and furious” over the accident but that she would not pile on the “bandwagon” in being critical of him.
“I am heartbroken and furious that he did so and I will never get the sound of that gunshot or my director’s screams out of my head as a result,” Davis wrote. “My friend is dead. Am I angry with him? Yes. But I won’t jump on the bandwagon and pretend that he was uncaring about our safety the whole way through.”
Davis further defended the producers on “Rust” as caring “people” and better than “studio producers who see us as walking dollar signs,” and she said that Hutchins’ name should not be used as a way to negotiate for better hours.
“I’m all for getting better work conditions. I’ve gotten in two car accidents from being worked too hard. I know what that feels like. This wasn’t that,” she said. “Maybe you could just not be one more person with a pitchfork in a mob that has no idea what you’re talking about because YOU WEREN’T THERE.”
She concluded by saying that the issue on “Rust” was about gun safety and that she will fight to remove live guns from film sets, a movement that has picked up steam in recent days as more than 200 cinematographers on Tuesday signed an open letter to ban functional firearms.
Gutierrez-Reed through a lawyer recently blamed the producers on “Rust” for what she referred to as an “unsafe” set and had denied any knowledge of the live round that police say killed Hutchins. Last month after the accident on set, one crew member on “Rust” had in a series of Instagram posts called the working conditions on “Rust” “absolute dogs—.” And TheWrap also reported that the gun that killed Hutchins had that morning been used for target practice in a practice called “plinking.”
Producers on “Rust” did not respond to a request for comment on Baldwin’s post.
See the whole thread via screenshots below: