The son of our 45th U.S. President is only the latest to weigh in on one of the film industry’s greatest tragedies
On October 21, 2021, Candace Owens weighed in on the recent “Rust” movie tragedy and called Alec Baldwin a murderer. The photo of the since-deleted tweet is the lead-in image for this article, above.
Hours later, on October 22, Candace deleted her original tweet in response to scathing criticism, and posted this in its place:
Today, on October 26, an unapologetic Donald Trump, Jr. posted a tee-shirt referencing the tragedy for sale on his website. I will not post it here, other than to say the message was quite the same in tone as Owens’ original tweet. In-between, Lauren Boebert exploited an old tweet of Baldwin‘s, which read, “I’m going to make bright, yellow banana yellow t-shirts that read ‘my hands are up. Please don’t shoot me.’ Who wants one?” Unlike Owens, Broebert doubled-down on her tweet with two others, the first tagging Baldwin’s account: “Are these still available? Asking for a movie producer …” Following still more subsequent criticism, she tweeted yet again: “I said what I said. You crazy Blue Checks want to take away our right to defend ourselves with a firearm, and know NOTHING about basic gun safety!”
Conservative author J.D. Vance of “Hillbilly Elegy” posted on Twitter: “Dear Jack let Trump back on. We need Alec Baldwin tweets.“
The “Jack” he refers to is Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter.
It is very simple to argue that today‘s politics are so divisive as to have become permanently rid of any sense of morality or sensitivity. What occurred on October 23 was a true tragedy with real loss. Any politically-driven criticism of Alec Baldwin, playing out by an increasing number lawmakers on the right as a de facto revenge motif due primarily to Baldwin’s portrayal of Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live,” registers as little more than a politically-expedient stunt.
Yet, the fact remains. On October 23 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, during the filming of a new movie, “Rust,” a prop gunshot gone wrong fired by actor and producer Baldwin took the life of the project’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, a 42-year-old mother and wife. The film’s director, Joel Souza, was seriously injured but released from the hospital days later.
Other facts continue to become known by the day as an investigation of the tragedy by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office continues. What has been widely reported to now is a camera crew walked off the set earlier due to protests against working conditions, and quit. They had to be replaced. Further, the prop master has been accused of safety issues in prior films.
What has yet to be reported at this point could be fairly considered conjecture, and I would rather wait for future reports than report opinions here.
Where, however, will this end? I agree with Jake Tapper, who on a recent CNN report targeted author Vance, who is running as a Republican candidate for Senate in Ohio, as exploiting the tragedy. “Our politics is driving people away from our shared humanity,” he said, “as a Republican candidate attempts to exploit the terrible tragedy on the set of Alec Baldwin’s film, for political gain.“ In reference to Boebert and others, he continued, “For some Republican leaders, cruelty is a feature, not a bug.”
In the meantime, friends and family of a deceased cinematographer continue to mourn her passing.
Though an admittedly idealistic sentiment, if we are to ever return to a common humanity that reminder is the only reality check we need.