Rust Gaffer Blames Death On 'Unprofessionalism'

Serge Svetnoy doesn't name names but says armorer was negligent
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2021 6:20 PM CDT
Rust Gaffer Blames Death On 'Unprofessionalism'
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of "Archenemy" in January 2020 in Los Angeles. Hutchins was fatally shot by Alec Baldwin Thursday on the New Mexico set of the western film "Rust." Authorities continue to investigate the shooting but there are no allegations of wrongdoing by Baldwin.   (Adam Egypt Mortimer via AP)

The chief electrician—the gaffer—on the set of Rust has some strong words about the lack of professionalism that he says led to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Echoing other crew members' comments that gun safety wasn’t being taken seriously on the production, Serge Svetnoy wrote a long, scathing post on Facebook saying the weapons department was negligent. "There is no way a twenty-four-year-old woman can be a professional with armory; there is no way that her more-or-less the same-aged friend from school, neighborhood, Instagram, or God knows where else, can be a professional in this field,” he wrote. He is apparently referring to armorer Hanna Gutierrez Reed, but did not name her, Deadline reports.

Svetnoy said in his post that he worked with Hutchins on many of her films and had developed a friendship with her. He said was standing right beside Hutchins—"shoulder to shoulder"—and that he held her while she died. "Her blood was on my hands," he said. Gutierrez had only worked on one other feature film, yet was the lead armorer on Rust, the Los Angeles Times reports. She was in charge of the prop guns Baldwin used in the scene. "To save a dime sometimes, you hire people who are not fully qualified for the complicated and dangerous job, and you risk the lives of the other people who are close and your lives as well," Svetnoy wrote in his post. (More Alec Baldwin stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.