On the set of his latest movie, Alec Baldwin was practicing for his scene that involved shooting a gun. To everyone’s knowledge, the gun had no live ammunition in it. This horrible accident became a fatal mistake, and cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed on the set of Rust. This story has now become a media frenzy, and it’s all everyone can talk about.
If you search about this on Google, all of the news articles that come up read: “Alec Baldwin Breaks Silence”, “Alec Baldwin Mourns Cinematographer”, “One-in-a-trillion Event”, and more. Every news site is covering this story, trying to convey what happened and figure out why it happened.
This tragic event is a PR nightmare for Baldwin, the movie, and those whose job was to ensure that there was no live ammunition in the gun. This is something that we call “crisis communications” in the PR industry. When something bad happens and someone needs to be defended, PR professionals can handle that accordingly. As of right now, Baldwin has spoken with the press, as well as taken to social media to speak about the event.
On October 22nd, Baldwin tweeted: “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins…” The tweet has 106,000 likes and over 11,000 retweets.
Baldwin cannot make further comments to the press or on social media because the investigation is continuing. With crises like this, PR professionals know that there is a right way to handle a situation like this. Baldwin did the right thing in speaking to the press once, as well as addressing the situation on social media. For now, we have to wait until the police investigation is finished.
The future of the movie is unknown at this point, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they take a break from filming after the investigation, or call it quits altogether. If they are going to continue with the filming and production of the movie, there will need to be some strategic PR moves made if they want to see success.
– Madeleine Bové, Account Associate