Props expert Cathy Scorsese says producers on Alec Baldwin film “screwed up badly”

"One fatality, in my opinion, is one too many"

Cathy Scorsese has opened up about the dangerous working conditions on Hollywood sets, following the incident that saw Alec Baldwin accidentally kill cinematographer Halyna Hutchins with a loaded gun.

Baldwin fired the prop weapon on the set of the film Rust, which resulted in the death of Hutchins and injuries to director Joel Souza last month (October 21), according to authorities.

Speaking to Business Insider today (November 3), Scorsese, who is the daughter of legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese and has decades of experience working with set props – including on The Sopranos, Casino, The Departed, and Boardwalk Empire – said that the way films address safety protocols today is “very broken”.

Citing a lack of staff and excessive hours on the job, Scorsese spoke candidly about the death of a friend who fell asleep at the wheel after being overworked as a grip, and admitted she had previously fallen asleep while driving as well.

Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin. CREDIT: Dennis Van Tine/ABACAPRESS.COM

“When I was coming up the industry ranks, people would always say, ‘If you don’t like it, there’s somebody right behind you who will take your job,’ and that’s the philosophy we lived by,” she explained. “But you know what: I’m calling BS. We’re trained professionals, and if that’s the attitude of producers, then they shouldn’t be producing.

“Amid the talk of hiring a nonunion crew and then pushing them beyond their limits and cutting corners to try and save money, it seems they screwed up pretty badly.”

Stating she remained “on the fence” about whether to allow firing weapons on set, Scorsese added: “When I’m working on set, I’ll continue to do what I’ve been trained to unless someone tells me to add additional safety steps as a precaution – which I’m more than happy to do because one fatality, in my opinion, is one too many.”

Since the Rust shooting, Alec Baldwin shared a statement on social media (October 21) expressing his “shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother, and deeply admired colleague of ours”.