Friday, November 26, 2021

Rust operator denies gunsmith sabotage allegations

The former Rust cinematographer spoke out Wednesday against sabotage allegations recently made by lawyers for the set’s only gunsmith, who has come under scrutiny in the wake of the murder of cinematographer Galina Hutchins.

V interview along with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, former production director Lane Luper dismissed the suggestion that someone had deliberately planted live ammunition in a box of empty cartridges that gunsmith Hanna Gutierrez Reed used to load a rifle fired by star Alec Baldwin.

“If they have any evidence of this, they should talk to the sheriff, not to the morning TV shows,” Looper said, referring to numerous TV interviews that Gutierrez Reed’s lawyers gave on Wednesday.

“It’s dangerous and it’s an irresponsible theory that needs to be shown on television.”

According to the timeline of The Times, Looper and other Rust crew members, fed up with unsafe and unreasonable working conditions, left the set the morning before Hutchins died.

Gutierrez Reed suggested that a disgruntled crew member might have smuggled live ammunition to “prove his case.”

When asked by Cuomo if he had ever heard that “anyone said they wanted to do something like that” or had “any inclination” for someone to deliberately create such a security threat, Looper replied, “Absolutely not.”

“Filming is a group of friends,” he added. “Everyone present, they deeply care for each other.”

Around the time Cuomo’s conversation with Luper was broadcast on CNN on Wednesday night, Gutierrez Reed’s lawyers issued an additional statement doubling their defense for their client, whose experience was questioned during the Rust investigation.

Late last month, a senior electrician at Rust publicly accused Gutierrez Reed and the producers of “negligence” leading to Hutchins’s death, stating that “a twenty-four-year-old woman cannot be a gun shop professional. “

“Hannah was extremely concerned about safety and took her job very seriously from the beginning,” said Jason Bowles, attorney for Gutierrez Reed.

“Never in a million years did Hannah think that live ammunition could be in the Round Box’s dummy. Who put them there and why is the main question. … No one could have guessed or thought that someone would add live ammo to this set. “

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As The Times previously reported, Looper raised several issues with Rust’s production, from lack of adequate pay and housing for crew members to a lack of safety bulletins that meet industry standards.

Appearing in Cuomo Prime Time, Looper reiterated his concern about the way Rust was set, citing “one red flag after another red flag,” which ultimately led to Baldwin shooting Hutchins and director Joel Sousa.

“It all started with a lack of security meetings. It all started with inexperienced key personnel, ”said Luper Cuomo.

“There were two shots from firearms that were not under anyone’s control, and at that moment they had to stop filming, withdraw firearms from circulation – in accordance with industry-wide safety rules. But we kept filming anyway, and they never addressed it. And I turned to him with the producers themselves. “

In a statement to CNN, Rust’s producers dismissed Looper’s “budget and security claims” as “knowingly false.”

“He had absolutely nothing to do with security protocols or budgets, and he didn’t know them,” they added. “Safety is always the number one priority in our films. And it’s really horrible to see how some people use this tragedy for their own purposes. “

Looper denied this characterization, arguing that he “does not want to be in front of the cameras,” especially as someone whose “entire career is behind their backs.”

“To borrow a phrase from the producers … that I’m not responsible for safety is a clear lie, because it’s everyone on set is responsible for safety,” Looper said.

“Security concerns have been consistently ignored. And that led to the fact that someone died on the set. “

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