Last year, the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was shot by actor Alec Baldwin on the set of the film Rust, rightly prompted the film industry and public policy makers to re-examine the safety procedures on productions involving firearms.
In theory, the accident could have been an opportunity for the various Hollywood factions to agree on a solution to ensure greater safety on film sets. Instead, unions and movie studios each in his corner and threw their political strength behind rival proposals to the state legislature.
the the unions supported a bill this would require film productions to hire a designated set safety supervisor and provide training to cast or crew members who come near firearms on set. Their bill would also impose penalties on productions that have security breaches. the the studios supported the legislation it would put existing motion picture industry safety guidelines into state law and task the state fire marshal with developing a firearms safety course for workers on movie sets.
The whole thing exploded last week when State Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Caada Flintridge) effectively scuttled both bills by bottling them up in the Senate Appropriations Committee he heads. He said he believed the move would force unions and studios to agree on a compromise that could be passed before the end of the legislative year on Aug. 31. But it’s also possible that by scuttling the bills, nothing more will happen this year to move forward stronger. safety rules.
It would be a pity for the legislator to reject responsibility on this important question. The state that is home to Hollywood has a responsibility to ensure film sets are safe places to work by leading the country in developing smart gun safety rules.
The governor of New Mexico, where Rust was filmed, said she was evaluating her state’s gun regulations for film sets, but called on the film industry to come up with safety practices at the industry scale.
Given that California lawmakers have so far been unwilling to undertake the hard work of balancing the industry’s need for flexibility with worker safety, it is now up to studios and unions to find a playing field. agreement. They should definitely try to come to an agreement. And if they don’t, legislators need to reconsider their hands-off approach.
No one should have to worry about being shot on the job.
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