The widower of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was shot and killed after a prop gun was discharged by Alec Baldwin on the set of the film “Rust,” appeared in an interview with NBC that aired Thursday.
Matthew Hutchins told “Today” host Hoda Kotb that he believes Baldwin is among those responsible.
“The idea that the person holding the gun and causing it to discharge is not responsible is absurd to me,” Hutchins said. “Gun safety was not the only problem on that set. There were a number of industry standards that were not practiced and there’s multiple responsible parties.”
The interview comes a little more than a week after Hutchins’ family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin, the film’s production companies, its producers, and other key members of the crew.
Hutchins was fatally shot in October during a rehearsal for a scene in the movie being filmed near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Director Joel Souza was also injured in the incident, which occurred when Baldwin practiced a draw with a revolver and fired the weapon.
The lawsuit, filed in Santa Fe, alleges numerous industry standard violations by Baldwin and others charged with safety on the set, Hutchins’ attorney Brian Panish announced in a news conference last week.
The lawsuit claims the production companies and producers “cut corners” and “chose to hire the cheapest crew available,” specifically noting that they “knowingly hired a wholly unqualified armorer,” and required her to split time in a second role as assistant props master.
Aaron Dyer, attorney for Baldwin other producers of “Rust,” said in a statement to CNN at the time of the filing. “We continue to cooperate with the authorities to determine how live ammunition arrived on the ‘Rust’ set in the first place. Any claim that Alec was reckless is entirely false. He, Halyna and the rest of the crew relied on the statement by the two professionals responsible for checking the gun that it was a ‘cold gun’ – meaning there is no possibility of a discharge, blank or otherwise. This protocol has worked on thousands of films, with millions of discharges, as there has never before been an incident on a set where an actual bullet harmed anyone.”
Hutchins told NBC that when he got the call that his wife had died, he raced to be with their son.
“My heart sank right away. I knew that I had to tell my son right away … of course he didn’t believe it right away … I think that that kind of news you just have to say multiple times so that it can be believed,” Hutchings recalled. “And so, he believed it, and we cried together then.”
“Every holiday, Christmas, New Year’s, our anniversary, my birthday, Valentine’s Day, I mean, every holiday is difficult without her,” he added.
Baldwin spoke to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in an interview in December and said that he did not pull the gun’s trigger and that he did not know how live ammunition got onto the film’s set.
Hutchins told Kotb that interview left him feeling “angry.”
“I just felt so angry, just so angry to see him talk about her death so publicly in such a detailed way and then to not accept any responsibility after having just described killer her,” he said. “Almost sounds like he was the victim, and hearing him blame Halyna in the interview and shift responsibility to others and seeing him cry about it, I just feel like are we really supposed to feel bad about you, Mr. Baldwin?”
A representative for Baldwin had no comment when reached by CNN. Lawyers for Baldwin and the film’s production company did not respond.
“What does justice look like?” Kotb asked Hutchins.
Hutchins responded, “We’re pursuing justice every way we can in the sense of going through this process together and with the lawsuit seeking to hold accountable the people who are responsible for Halyna’s death, which was totally preventable.”