Hollywood star Alec Baldwin could stand to learn a little legal history.
In 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested by Phoenix, Arizona, police for the kidnapping and rape of an 18-year-old woman. He wasn’t appraised of his constitutional right to counsel or to avoid self-incrimination. The Supreme Court eventually vacated his conviction because of that (although he was later tried and convicted again).
Out of this came the standard Miranda warning police give those who have just been arrested. Anyone who’s watched an American police show in the past 55 years since that 1966 decision, such as the multifarious permutations of “Law & Order,” knows at least the beginning of it by heart: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law…”
Baldwin isn’t facing criminal charges for the shooting on the set of his western “Rust” in October that took the life of a cinematographer and injured another crew member. However, he might want to keep the Miranda warning in mind, considering he continues to put his foot in his mouth, even now that civil lawsuits have been launched against the principals involved in the troubled movie.
Shifting blame has been a consistent Baldwin tactic — and one we’ve documented extensively here at The Western Journal. We’ll continue to cover the case and hold Baldwin’s feet to the fire — and you can help us by subscribing.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Baldwin went off on those involved in the lawsuits during remarks to an audience Saturday at the Boulder International Film Festival in Colorado, saying those they’re going after “are deep-pockets litigants.”
“From the beginning, from the moment this happened, everybody has put out — besides all the anguish and the suffering, horrible feelings we have and, of course, there are two victims and nobody else is a victim, so to speak — we have dealt with a situation where specific people are not as interested in finding out what really happened,” Baldwin said, according to THR.
“What you have is a certain group of litigants on whatever side, who their attitude is, ‘well, the people who likely seem negligent have enough money. And the people who have money are not negligent, but we’re not gonna let that stop us from doing what we need to do in terms of litigation,’” he continued.
“Why sue people if you’re not going to get money? That’s what you’re doing.”
Baldwin didn’t mention names, but you didn’t have to look hard if you wanted to find a prime suspect — namely Matthew Hutchins, husband of slain “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
His family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin, in addition to “others responsible for the safety on set and whose reckless behavior” led to the shooting of Hutchins, who was hit by a live bullet accidentally loaded into a chamber instead of a blank.
It’s not the only lawsuit surrounding the film.
According to the entertainment news site The Wrap, the project’s main medic has also filed a lawsuit against the producers. According to the Los Angeles Times, the production’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, has filed a lawsuit against the company that supplied weapons for the movie.
The bullet fired as Baldwin practiced a quick draw; the actor swore he didn’t have his finger on the trigger, although gun experts have cast doubt on this explanation.
Hutchins gave an interview to NBC last month “during which he expressed that past statements made by Baldwin had seemingly victimized himself and shifted responsibility for the cinematographer’s death onto her and others,” THR reported.
“Almost sounds like he was the victim,” Hutchins told NBC regarding comments Baldwin made in a separate interview.
“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?’”
Well, yes. Because despite pointing the gun at Hutchins and insisting he didn’t have his finger on the trigger, Baldwin went out of his way at the Boulder event to champion “the safety record of the film and television industry” regarding firearms.
During the discussion, he asked attendees to “think of all the billions of rounds of ammunition that were fired on movie and TV sets in the last 75 years and four people have died” and then “compare that record to the opioid industry, the airline industry, the automobile industry, the gun industry itself.”
“When someone whose job it is to ensure the safety of the weapon hands someone else whose job was to be the secondary layer of protection for safety, and they hand it over to and you declare that that weapon is safe — that’s how I’ve lived my whole life,” Baldwin said.
“I’ve relied on the safety experts there to declare the gun is safe and hand me the gun. Never had a problem.”
Baldwin, remember, was a producer for “Rust,” a production that suffered numerous reported issues with gun safety, but let’s not let facts get in the way of a good Baldwin story.
The movie star shot two people, killing one. At first, he said the whole thing was a tragedy and promised to cooperate fully with the investigation. He then made it difficult for authorities to execute a search warrant on his cell phone.
Baldwin would continue to obliquely blame others without presenting evidence they were actually at fault. Then, after a lawsuit was pressed against him, he came out this weekend and essentially said the plaintiffs were ambulance chasers.
Alec Baldwin, please remember: You have the right to remain silent at the Boulder International Film Festival. Anything you say there can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion — and if potential jurors read it, it could definitely leak over into the court of law.
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