A-list Hollywood types have so far avoided criticizing Alec Baldwin for his role in the deadly shooting on the set of western indie film “Rust.”
But Academy Award-winning actor George Clooney sounded off recently about the incident—and he didn’t hold back from a veiled critique of Baldwin’s gun safety habits.
“Every single time I’m handed a gun on the set — every time — they hand me a gun, I look at it, I open it, I show it to the person I’m pointing it to, I show it to the crew,” Clooney told WTF With Marc Maron. “Every single take. You hand it back to the armorer when you’re done.”
He says he “hopes” Baldwin followed those protocols, but considering Baldwin shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza, it’s unlikely.
Clooney also described another method he uses to ensure stage revolvers haven’t been loaded with live rounds.
“I mean every time I get handed a six-gun, you point it at the ground and you squeeze it six times,” Clooney said, noting, “It’s just insane” not to.
The Baldwin incident is still under investigation, and no charges have yet been filed. But the actor is already being sued by script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, who originally called 911 following the on-set shooting, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Mitchell argues that Baldwin should have checked to make sure the gun was unloaded, and she alleges physical and emotional trauma from being so close to a fired gun.
“Alec Baldwin should have assumed that the gun in question was loaded unless and until it was demonstrated to him or checked by him that it was not loaded,” the complaint says.
According to Mitchell, the on-set armorer is always supposed to demonstrate to the actor that a gun is unloaded before handing it to him.
She also dismisses the excuse that Baldwin was told the gun was “cold” as it was handed to him. Court documents revealed in the days after the incident that assistant director Dave Hall shouted “Cold gun!” prior to giving the gun to Baldwin.
“He had no right to rely upon some alleged statement by the Assistant Director that it was a ‘cold gun.’ Mr. Baldwin cannot hide behind the Assistant Director to attempt to excuse the fact that he did not check the gun himself,” Mitchell says.
Clooney doesn’t buy this excuse either. In fact, he claims that the “cold gun” signal isn’t an industry-standard safety protocol.
“I’ve never heard the term ‘cold gun,’” Clooney said. “I’ve never heard that term. Literally. They’re just talking about stuff I’ve never heard of. It’s just infuriating.”
Clooney has been no friend to gun rights over the years, despite making millions from movies valorizing the use of firearms. In 2019, he spearheaded the “March for Our Lives” movement, which leverages minors to push for the most radical items on the anti-gun lobby’s wish list.