Top 10 Alec Baldwin Excuses for Shooting
Actor faults the gun, the crew, medical rescue and the victim -but not himself
Alec Baldwin had to do a national TV interview about killing a woman before the criminal investigation is finished because he “can’t wait for that process.” The actor is above the criminal justice system.
Paid subscriptions from readers fund this independent journalism.
Baldwin then used his free hour of ABC News primetime to give his complex defense to potential jurors and judges.
But he’s been famous for 40 years, so the public knows his real personality well. He’s a narcissist who is incapable of accepting blame. So instead, he had a lot of excuses. Ten to be exact.
Baldwin was clearly prepped by his legal and PR team for the most important role of his career: Playing the part of a compassionate, innocent man.
The body language experts from “The Behavioral Panel” believe he used peppermint extract to make himself cry on cue. Even with the tears, Baldwin failed to make the audience believe him.
Cinematographer and mother Halyna Hutchins was horrifically shot by Baldwin at a close distance and died from her wounds. But Baldwin said he doesn’t feel guilt. He seems to have no empathy.
Baldwin had a quick answer to every question posted by Stephanopoulos except one: What is the actor’s responsibility when handed a gun?
There were seconds of dead air while Baldwin tried to think of something to say that didn’t take away from his perfection. He reverted back to arrogantly brushing off any criticism.
ABC News heavily promoted the Baldwin exclusive with George Stephanopoulos, but viewers either weren’t interested or don’t like Baldwin.
The show was last place in the ratings that night with just 4 million viewers. More Americans tuned into NBC’s “Annie Live,” Fox’s football game and two random shows on CBS than the Alec Baldwin show.
I watched it. It’s my job. But I was yelling at my TV. I hit rewind when I couldn’t believe Baldwin made another outrageous claim. I used my phone to video the parts that I wanted to remember the arrogance in his face and his finger gun demonstrations.
Baldwin feels entitled to get away scot free. He said he bears no responsibility, and it appears that he meant it. That’s why he hung out to dry all the people on his crew on “Rust” who don’t have the power or the money to fight charges and lawsuits.
I went back through my notes and the show (which is still on my DVR) to put on paper all the excuses from Baldwin. I think it’s important to see how these excuses are contradictory, not accurate and do not close the case. The American justice system must treat everyone the same.
Baldwin’s 10 excuses
(1) He didn’t pull the trigger
Baldwin claims he never pulled the trigger. Read my story bout that bombshell excuse: Plot twist: Alec Baldwin now says "I didn't pull the trigger"
(2) The gun misfired by the hammer
He claimed the gun “went off” by cocking the hammer. Read my story about how that claim could a malfunction could have happened after Baldwin shot the gun for an hour and a half. Fact check: Alec Baldwin says 'I let go of the hammer — bang, the gun goes off'
(3) Actors don’t check if guns are loaded
George Clooney was asked about Baldwin’s shooting and said that all actors check their own guns. This is what Clooney said:
Every single time I'm handed a gun on the set — every time — they hand me a gun, I look at it, I open it, I show it to the person I'm pointing it to, I show it to the crew. Every single take, you had to back to the armorer when you're done. You do it again. And part of it is because of what happened to Brandon [Lee]. Everyone does it.
Stephanopoulos asked Baldwin to respond to Clooney.
STEPHANOPOULOS: How do you respond to actors like George Clooney who say that every time they were handed a gun, they checked it themselves?
Well, there were a lot of people who felt it necessary to contribute some comment to the situation, which really didn't help the situation - at all. If your protocol is you check the gun every time, well good for you, good for you.
That “good for you” was dripping in sarcasm and anger. It exposed the real Alec Baldwin who has been muzzled since the shooting. He’s short tempered and will not be challenged.
Baldwin also said about Clooney:
I've probably handled weapons as much as any other actor in films with an average career. Again, shooting or being shot by someone — and in that time, I had a protocol and it never let me down.
He claimed that over the years the prop people taught him to not check the gun. He said they told him that, “We don't want the actor being the last line of defense against a catastrophic breach of safety with the gun...The crews aren’t relying on you to say it’s safe.”
(4) The victim thought the gun was unloaded
Baldwin believes if the victim also thinks the gun is unloaded, he is absolved of any blame.
"We both thought it was empty, and it wasn't. And that's not her responsibility. That's not my responsibility. Whose responsibility it is remains to be seen."
His total denial of any wrongdoing gives him a clear conscience.
“Do you feel guilt?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“No. no,” Baldwin replied immediately.
(5) Actors can point guns at people on movie sets
Stephanopoulos said, “There are some who say you're never supposed to point a gun on anyone on a set no matter what.”
Baldwin replied: "Unless the person is the cinematographer who's directing me at where to point the gun for her camera angle."
He added to this defense. "I didn't point the gun at [Hutchins], and she said, 'Hey, man, don't point the gun at me.' I pointed the gun in a direction she wanted."
“Everything is at her direction,” insisted Baldwin.
The actor told this story while changing positions in the interview chair and pointing out where he and Hutchins were positioned when he shot her.
This was a marking rehearsal,” Baldwin said. “And she says to me, ‘Hold the gun lower. Go to your right. Okay, right there. All right, do that. Now show it a little bit lower.’ And she's getting me to position the gun.
She's guiding me through how she wants me to hold the gun for this angle. I'm holding the gun where she told me to hold it, which ended up being aimed right below her armpit.
Baldwin gives this cinematographer he had never met a lot of power over him. If she had told him to put the gun at his own chest and cock it, do you think he would have obeyed her?
(6) The crews loaded the live round
Baldwin was most emphatic in the ABC interview that the person to blame is whoever accidentally put a live round in the revolver. He said it multiple times so the audience got the message.
"Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn't even supposed to be on the property.”
“Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can't say who that is, but I know it's not me."
“I don't know what happened on that set. I don't know how that bullet arrived in that gun.”
According to search warrants from Santa Fe Sheriff’s office, the prop supplier Seth Kenny may have brought to the set reloaded live ammunition mixed with the blanks— both with the “Starline Brass” logo. The sheriff’s office said Thell Reed, father of the movie’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, blame Kenny for the live round.
But Kenny told ABC News that he was not the sole provider to the set and the live ammo did not come from him. After the sheriff’s office executed the search at Kenny’s business, he said:
They found four rounds that were close enough to take in with them. They’re not a match, but they were close.
So there’s something very unique about the live rounds that were found on “Rust”, but we’ve got to wait for the FBI to do its job.
(7) The assistant director should have found the live round
The assistant director Dave Halls has been the target of much of
Baldwin’s PR team’s media attacks since the beginning because he handed the gun to the actor for the scene. Halls said that it was a “cold gun”, which supposedly means it didn’t have any rounds with projectiles, even blanks in it.
Stephanopoulos asked Baldwin about Halls.
“Now, what happened there, and why he made that statement, and what the realities were, I have, again, I have no idea,” Baldwin said.
A lawyer for Halls said it wasn’t his job to check if the gun was loaded. Lisa Torraco told Fox News this:
What I can tell you is that expecting an assistant director to check a firearm is like telling the assistant director to check the camera angle or telling the assistant director to check sound or lighting.
Interestingly, Clooney said that the term “cold gun” is not common usage.
I’ve never heard the term “cold gun.” I’ve never heard that term. Literally, they’re just talking about stuff I’ve never heard of. It’s just infuriating.
(8) The armorer is both capable and at fault
This excuse was convoluted because Baldwin contradicted himself. He said the movie’s armorer Gutierrez-Reed showed no red flags when she spent an hour and a half with him shooting the revolver and reviewing gun safety rules.
Stephanopoulos asked, “Nothing she did raised any red flags with you?” And Baldwin said no.
Then, he seemed to throw all the blame for the live round on her:
“There is one person who is supposed to make sure that what is in the gun is right and what’s wrong is not in the gun. One person has that responsibility to maintain the gun.”
But a lawyer for Gutierrez Reed said she is sure that she did not load a live round in the Colt before bringing it to the set. Jason Bowles, said in part, in a statement obtained by Fox News:
Never in a million years did Hannah think that live rounds could have been in the ‘dummy’ round box.
She inspected the rounds that she loaded into the firearms that day. She always inspected the rounds,”
She did firearms training for the actors as well as Mr. Baldwin, she fought for more training days and she regularly emphasized to never point a firearm at a person.
Baldwin posted on Instagram that a “police officer” on set would have made a difference.
Of course, his idea went nowhere since police officers need to do their actual jobs (there’s a nationwide shortage!) and they aren’t all firearm safety instructors.
(9) He’s not criminally liable
The sheriff and prosecutor in Santa Fe are still investigating and have not ruled out charging anyone. But Baldwin said he’s been told otherwise.
“I've been told by people who are in the know, in terms of even inside the state, that it's highly unlikely that I would be charged with anything criminally,” Baldwin announced.
(10) The victim didn’t get to the hospital fast enough
Baldwin is the star and producer of “Rust” but takes an oddly passive role after he shot Hutchins.
He blamed the crew for not getting her to a hospital fast enough.
She was laying there, and she was there for a while. I was amazed they didn’t get her in a car and didn’t get her out, but they waited and a helicopter came.
But by the time the helicopter took off with her, I mean literally lifted off, we were all glued to that process outside.
When she finally left — I don’t know how long it was she was there, 30 minutes, 40 minutes- it seemed like a very long time.
But they kept saying she’s stable. Just as you disbelieve there’s going to be a live round in a gun, you disbelieve this is going to be a fatal accident.
He only said he spent “60 seconds” over her before leaving the church set and then passively waited.
The helicopter took Hutchins to the state’s only Level 1 trauma center at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.
If you accidentally shot someone, wouldn’t you do everything you could to stay with the victim? If you were a powerful movie star, wouldn’t you personally call 911 and demand immediate help?
Baldwin said he was told to leave her and go outside. It will be interesting to hear from the crew in court what exactly Baldwin did during those 40 minutes that he blames them for Hutchins dying from her injuries.
There was one honest thing Alec Baldwin said on TV about the shooting. He recalled when he first saw Hutchins’s 9-year-old son, he thought of his own children.
"And this boy doesn't have a mother anymore,” said Baldwin. “And there's nothing we can do to bring her back.”
If you value reading this reporting, please consider supporting my independent journalism with a paid subscription for $6 a month or $60 a year.
ABC News “Alec Baldwin Unscripted” is on Hulu to watch.
NIH- Narcissistic Personality Disorder by Paroma Mitra; Dimy Fluyau
George Clooney on Baldwin- WTF Podcast with Marc Maron
The Wrap: Alec Baldwin’s ABC Interview Finishes Last in Ratings Among Big 4 Networks
Santa Fe Sheriff Department affidavit for search warrant for prop company from Second Judicial District Court 12/01/2021
ABC News interview with Seth Kenny
The Behavior Panel Alec Baldwin Interview ABC Body Language Analysis on Rust Shooting of Halyna Hutchins
Fox News: Lisa Torraco, lawyer for AD Dave Halls, on Martha MacCallum's show
People magazine statement from lawyer for armorer Guiterrez-Reed
Note to my paid subscribers — Thank you for supporting me while I dug in deep on this Alec Baldwin news. I created a new link so you can read the Santa Fe Sheriff’s search warrant documents to understand where the investigation might be leading on how the live round got in the gun. Click below.
Emily Posts is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a paid subscriber for $6 a month or $60 a year.
I don't know what to say...except I was a Hollywood Cinematographer for over 30 years and there was NO WAY I was NOT inspecting the 'prop' gun before it was pointed (or fired) at me by anyone, especially this man, for whom I had the displeasure being around while shooting press junkets in the 90's. Shameful disgrace.
Reading the excuses...seems that Baldwin has persistent false beliefs and is very out of reality. The delusional behavior and psychosis he has probably enhance his ability to behave in the characters he plays for his craft. In Junior High School I actually earned A grades in my drama class, which was an elective, and I actually had fun. That was long before I was diagnosed and treated for my neuropsychiatric condition. I could probably act in a fashion similar to Baldwin as far as level of ability, though I think Mr James Wood has a better political alignment and I enjoyed him in the TV show Shark. Anywho, Baldwin's tales are rather too tall and fantastic to be believed by any person who actually knows about firearms mechanics and practices. Baldwin has a forked tongue, and we all who have any sense know it.