Was it sabotage?
Former “Rust” crew members and their attorneys are speaking out about what they believe went wrong on the New Mexico set of the low-budget production last month, when actor Alec Baldwin discharged a weapon that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.
Lane Luper, who served as first camera assistant until resigning the day before Hutchins was killed, appeared Wednesday on “Good Morning America.” He reiterated his concerns over relaxed covid policies, a housing situation requiring crew members to drive lengthy distances and a lack of gun safety on set — all of which he previously expressed to “Rust” producers.
“In my 10 years as camera assistant, I’ve never worked on a show that cares so little for the safety of its crew,” Luper wrote in his resignation letter, snippets of which GMA shared on air. He wasn’t the only member of the camera crew to leave the project; according to an affidavit filed by a Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office detective, around six members had walked out in total.
Producers denied Luper’s allegations in a statement, asserting that he would have had no knowledge of safety protocols on set. Luper, speaking to GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos, disputed their claim. He noted how vital it is for the head of the camera department to be looped in to those conversations, so they are able to protect camera operators and the equipment itself while setting up shots.
“There is no personal gain in this for me,” Luper said of his decision to speak out. “I’m kind of sticking my neck out here.”