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“It’s just pure negligence” – who will be held accountable for the fatal shooting on set of Rust?

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How does a prop gun not get checked? An experienced armourer says there’s a complete lack of discipline, and professionalism on the set of Alec Baldwin’s movie Rust

The gun Baldwin fired in the fatal shooting on the Rust movie set was handed to the actor loaded with a live round, according to a warrant from the ongoing police investigation.

watch: benjamin Leonides-Morgan from Firearm training for film and TV explainING what went wrong on the set of the movie rust

So how does a prop gun not get checked if it has live ammunition?

“It really should never happen. It’s just pure negligence on the side of the armourer,”

Leonides-Morgan says.

Benjamin Leonides-Morgan from Firearm training for film and TV is a highly skilled armourer with extensive experience with blockbuster productions.

He says the armourer on the set of Rust was new to the job and didn’t have much experience.

The armourer was described as being “inexperienced and green” by a Rust production source.

They explained that there were at least two previous incidents of guns being unsafely discharged by other crew members before the tragic incident on Thursday.

They insisted that she should have checked the weapons were safe before handing it to Baldwin.

“How you could get live rounds and blank rounds confused is beyond me.”

Leonides-Morgan says the firearm should have been checked first.

“Normally, we’d show it to the presenter, we’d show them, we’d show it’s empty, we’d show we will load in blanks. Everything will be communicated to everybody,” he continued on standard firearm procedures in the industry.

His company Firearm training for film and TV works with people from film, television and stage to provide theoretical and safe practical competency in the use of firearms.

From his experience, Leonides-Morgan says the procedures followed by the Rust crew were not safe.

“There’s many aspects of production that was not safe. And I’m surprised this is happening now in this day and age, with all the help and safety that we have in place and the training of people on set.”

What went wrong?

“I’m an armour, I used to experience I’ve always dealt with firearms. I’m a shooter anyway. So I would know exactly what I’m doing what I’m putting into that firearm. And I think what they’ve done is they’ve got slack, they’ve got contempt”

And there’s rumours coming out that they’ve been using the firearms in their breaks to do a bit of shooting, and the live rounds are mixed with blank ammunition.

Alec Baldwin shared this picture on Instagram just hours before the tragedy unfolded.

“So obviously, there’s a complete lack of discipline, and professionalism going on. And I then they’ve just got mixed up, maybe the armour isn’t on top of it,” he says.

“But the procedure really would be to show everyone that that rifle or pistol is clear. And then just show what you’re loading in there,

“Whenever I would walk on the set. With any firearm, the first thing I’ll do is walk up that director and just show them and show them that look, it’s empty, it’s clear, there’s a prop. It’s not real. And I’ll explain what I’m doing all the time. Obviously with this, they’ve not done this. And obviously, you know, feedback consequences.”

Who will be held accountable?

watch: benjamin Leonides-Morgan from Firearm training for film and TV explainING WHO SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE

“Obviously, the production, the producers are accountable because this happened as far as their production. But I think it’s going to be who’s in charge of those firearms,” Leonides-Morgan says.

“I think it’s the arm where they’re in charge of the firearms, and what happens to them. And so personally, I feel they’re going to be responsible there. I think when the story comes out, there’s going to be a lot of other people involved in this. I think there’s, there’s more to this that’s going to come to light.”

What about assistant director? Well – Leonides-Morgan says he wouldn’t be responsible for any firearms at all.

“He wouldn’t be dealing with firearms. If you’re speaking to the one that called and said it’s clear, and that it was cold, they was empty, and there was no rounds in there, then obviously, they deserve to be fired for this.”

How was this negligence allowed by such a team of professionals?

Leonides-Morgan says it all comes down to experience.

“The production cut a lot of cut the budget, they will not put the money into this film like they should. There was a lot of complaints from crew members just the week before,” he says.

Police on the scene of Rust after the incident. Picture: ZUMA Press Inc/Alamy Live News

“They had been negligent discharges of the firearm previously on the previous week. And I think discipline was completely slack on set, and total lack of experience from the side of the armourer.”

He believes there was a lot of freedoms, and “I just do not think they were doing it right.”

How will this change firearms on film sets going forward?

The last time in an incident like this was 1993 with Brandon Lee, so this isn’t something that happens often.

Leonides-Morgan says it will definitely give a knock to the industry and make sure they get professional armourers on set when it comes to firearms.

“I think people will step it up, get people like myself to come on, provide the firearms advice, and stay there with the firearms all the time,” he says.

“So it will step up that level for productions not to cut any corners, pave when the right money and get the professionals in to do the job correctly.”

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‘Reeks of exploitation’ – is Alec Baldwin’s interview distasteful?

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Alec Baldwin’s interview on ABC news is being labelled as ‘distasteful’

Alec Baldwin says he assumed the gun he was holding was empty of live bullets before it went off and killed a cinematographer during a rehearsal on the set of the movie Rust.

In an emotional television interview with ABC News America, which aired on Thursday night, the actor also said he did not see any safety issues on the set before the incident where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed.

“We both assumed the gun was empty, other than those, you know, dummy rounds,” Mr Baldwin told the US ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

The actor had been handed the gun by a crew member and told it was safe.

He said he did not pull the trigger.

Police investigating if recycled ammo was used in Rust shooting
Police investigating if recycled ammo was used in Rust shooting / Image: File

What prompted Alec Baldwin to have this conversation with George Stephanopoulos?

Entertainment reporter Sam Rubin told tickerNEWS it “does reeks of exploitation”

The police investigation is still ongoing and Rubin says there’s no indication either pro or con as to if criminal charges will be filed.

“It just seems extraordinarily premature to do something like this”

Rubin said

“Alec Baldwin seems very emotional, very raw about the whole thing. But some people here are finding this whole thing somewhat distasteful.”

Rubin said It’s really not about him, but rather about of course, the cinematographer 42 year old Halyna Hutchins who died.

Is it fair that a network actually profit off a murder here when it’s still an open investigation?

Rubin says there is an obvious promotional nature of the interview with “the music that’s been added in the editing, the lighting, the whole thing does to me reek of exploitation.”

He said people have openly questioned if Alec Baldwin should be doing this.

“Most journalists around the world would not turn down the opportunity to have a conversation like this. It is a hour long special with commercial interruptions, the network certainly will profit from it,” he said.

“They’re already talking about the streaming service they’re promoting that will require the special. So yeah, the motivations are not entirely pure.”

Alec Baldwin says he “didn’t pull the trigger” of the gun that fatally wounded Halyna Hutchins – so how did it all unfold?

Are those appropriate things for him to discuss in this atmosphere at this time?

“What I do know is I bet the person who sort of brokered this interview, George Stephanopoulos, his wife is an actress and comedian named Ellie Wentworth. And I know she is friendly with Alec Baldwin,” Rubin said.

“And she isn’t the family. So I don’t know that she necessarily put this together. But it’s entirely possible. They all knew each other socially before this interview.”

Will the interview influence the public here?

“Are you trying to sort of influence a jury before juries even selected that that could be? very legitimate question,” he said.

“New Mexico is a relatively small, small area, but both the sheriff there and the district attorney there, you can just tell sometimes I think you get a sense of these things. They like being on TV, they like all this attention. And so I don’t know if that will influence anything,” Rubin continued.

“I’m not trying to suggest any kind of ethical breach, but you can tell that the bright lights, the cameras, they’re not shying away from them.”

The investigation needs to be completed and then new determination needs to be made have a degree of responsibility and is there criminal responsibility charges be filed that remains a mystery.

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Media

First publisher to say no to fur

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Renowned fashion magazine “Elle” has become the first major publisher to say no to fur, ending the promotion of animal products in both editorial and advertising content

A senior exec at the publication says the company is supporting animal welfare and reflecting a shift in tastes globally.

Teaming up with Humane Society and Creatives-4-Change, the magazine’s 45 global editions have signed a charter to make the reform process official.

ELLE to end promotion of animal products in both editorial and advertising content

Thirteen of the 47 have already implemented the changes, with a further 20 following suit in 2022 and the remainder by the end of 2023.

This follows a long-standing campaign by animal fur industry advocates who argue such a pledge is counter-intuitive, because synthetic fur is made with plastics that harm the environment.

But Elle’s international director says “Gen Z wants fashion to be responsible, ethical and innovative, and that’s what’s happening”.

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Crypto

Is Twitter Changing its Name?

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Just days after Jack Dorsey resigned for the second time as CEO of Twitter, his other company, Square, is getting a name change

The parent company of Cash App and Tidal will now go under the new corporate name of “Block”.

Other individual businesses owned by Block, referred to by the company as “building blocks”, will keep their original names except for the company’s Square Crypto initiative.

Square Crypto, whilst keeping it’s ticker name of SQ on the stock exchange, will be renamed as Spiral.

These name changes follow Dorsey’s well known interest in cryptocurrency, with the business having $220 million in bitcoin in its treasury according to the Wall Street Journal.

This contributes to Dorsey, who Forbes estimates to be worth $10.8 billion, as being one of the most influential cryptocurrency advocates worldwide.

Square’s name change comes just over a month after Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook group to Meta.

Square’s business involves payment systems such as banking products for retailers as well as those small square card readers you see at some vendors.

The company’s name change is therefore is simply the introduction of a new corporate name to “tie” the company’s building blocks together.

There will be no organisational change as a result of the name change which is expected to go legally into effect around December 10th..

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