“The View” host Joy Behar seemed to imply Friday that the charges announced against Alec Baldwin in the “Rust” shooting this week were politically motivated. While discussing the situation, Behar made a point to note that the special prosecutor for the case is a Republican, and “Alec Baldwin is a target for Republicans.”
On Thursday, First Judicial DA Mary Carmack-Altwies announced that Baldwin and “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed will each be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter for the fatal 2021 shooting of Halyna Hutchins.
Meanwhile, assistant director David Halls signed a plea deal for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon. He was given a suspended sentence and six months of probation – and will likely testify in Baldwin’s criminal trial.
But during the “Hot Topics” discussion of “The View,” Joy Behar questioned why four other producers on the film weren’t charged, and argued that Baldwin’s producer credit meant he had “creative involvement, not exactly the job of somebody who would have to check the gun.”
“As a person who’s been in a couple of movies, all you’re thinking about is your part when you’re an actor,” Behar said. She later added, “So I don’t really understand what this is about.”
Her co-hosts largely disagreed with her, with Alyssa Farah Griffin noting that prosecutors on the case actually spoke to other actors about how guns are handled on set, with most noting that they always do a final check of the weapon themselves, either solo, or with the armorer.
“I do think as the actor who pulled the trigger, he does bear some responsibility,” Farah Griffin added.
As the discussion continued, it eventually circled back to Behar, who implied some political motivations, as she still questioned the charges.
“You know, the DA who is indicting him, or whatever the legal term is right now, she’s a big Republican,” Behar said. “I’m only saying this because Alec Baldwin is a target for Republicans. They cannot stand him. OK? Just saying. I’m not saying anything more than that.”
When the show returned for its next segment, Behar corrected herself, noting that it is in fact the special prosecutor appointed for the case who is a Republican, not the DA herself.
In New Mexico, involuntary manslaughter is a fourth-degree felony, punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. Because a firearm was involved in the crime, the second charge is subject to an additional mandatory five-year jail sentence in what’s known as a “firearm enhancement.” Also unlike the first charge, the second requires proof there was more than simple negligence involved.