Alec Baldwin shooting victim Halyna Hutchins slammed 'selfish producers cutting corners on safety' before tragedy

THE cinematographer accidentally shot dead by Alec Baldwin on the set of his new movie slammed "selfish producers" for cutting corners before the tragedy, a friend has claimed.

Mom of one Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed on Thursday after the actor's weapon fired off during filming of his western movie Rust in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Filmmaker Joel Souza, 48, was also injured and taken to hospital, while Alec, 63, has since broken his silence saying he is "heartbroken."

A close friend of Halyna’s, writer and director Li Lu, posted a tribute on Instagram, claiming the cinematographer previously hit out at producers on recent projects for acting "selfishly and dangerously."

In a moving post, she wrote: "Halyna, you were one of the hardest working people that I have ever met. You loved cinema – completely and utterly. You were a friend and colleague. You were a great mom. 

"The last time we spoke, you lamented how producers on recent projects acted selfishly and dangerously. How people who finance films thought their money could be traded for the decency, safety, and honour of all else on set. 

"How often we tell ourselves to 'buck up.' Because we are tough. Because as women, we gotta show we can take it. Because we must sacrifice, to achieve our dreams. 

"It's not f***ing worth it. You deserve to be here. With your family."

Li added: "I am beyond angry for you. Your family. Your boy. For us. We are all the same film family. Rest well. Li."

She later added on her social media account: "No more martyrs," blasting: "Not only is there no reason to have any prop gun with live ammo these days – but to hear that they fired blanks on a f***ing rehearsal??? People need to go to jail. And stay in jail. And never work again."

Read our Alec Baldwin shooting live blog for the very latest news and updates…

Li also described Halyna as a "true artist" and said they became friends in Victoria, Texas, back in March 2017 as they began working together.

She went on: "Seeing your smile across the news is surreal.

"That smile encapsulated all of your passion and excitement for what you loved to do. For what we loved to do together.

"Thank you for leaving such beautiful stories in this world. Rest well, Halyna.

"It's up to us now to honor your memory and fight for what's right. She was one of us."

The Sun has reached out to Li and Rust Movies Productions LLC for further comment.

'PRODUCTION IS SHUT DOWN'

In a previous statement, the production company said: "The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company.

"Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down.

"We will continue to cooperate with the Santa Fe authorities in their investigation and offer mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time."

'CUTTING CORNERS'

An onset source also told The Sun they felt movie makers were "cutting corners to save a buck" after it was revealed several camera crew workers walked off to protest working conditions – hours before the tragedy.

They said: "I wouldn't go back to the set if I was asked, it's cursed."

Camera operators and their assistants were frustrated by issues like long hours and pay, according to a number of outlets.

Someone from the producer staff ordered union members to leave the set and said if they didn’t leave, the producers would call security and they would be removed.

The prop gun Alec shot on set had a "live round" in it, according to a union covering props masters.

An email from the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 44, obtained by Indie Wire, called the incident an "accidental weapons discharge."

It read: "A live single round was accidentally fired on set by the principal actor, hitting both the Director of Photography, Local 600 member Halyna Hutchins, and Director Joel Souza.

"Local 44 has confirmed that the Props, Set Decoration, Special Effects, and Construction Departments were staffed by New Mexico crew members.

"There were no Local 44 members on the call sheet."

FAMILY DEMAND ANSWERS

Halyna's heartbroken family are now demanding answers about her death as they frantically tried to beat red tape to fly to the US.

Friends said dad Antoly and mum Olga are "beside themselves with grief" after being told of the tragedy by her husband, Matthew.

A pal in Kiev, Ukraine, where Halyna grew up, said: "The family is grieving but at the same time they are asking and they will want answers. If someone made a mistake then they will have to pay.

"They just don't understand how something dreadful like this could have happened when safety measures are supposed to be in place.

"They are also frantically trying to secure documents to get to the United States. Her mother does not have the correct paperwork."

Film studio bosses fear a mega lawsuit from the family if it turns out that Halyna's death could have been avoided.

Last night her sister Svetlana, who lives in Indonesia, also said: "I cannot comprehend [her passing]. I loved her very much. I was very proud of her, and she was my role model. We were always close.

"This loss is a great grief for our family, and I see how hard it is for our parents. Hopefully, time will ease our heartache."

Ukraine's foreign ministry has asked diplomats in San Francisco to urgently investigate the circumstances of her death.



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