ABC’s ‘The Rookie’ bans live guns on set following fatal ‘Rust’ incident: ‘An easy decision’


Producers of “The Rookie” are taking strict precautions after the fatal incident involving a prop gun occurred Thursday on the “Rust” movie set.

Alexi Hawley, the police drama’s writer, confirmed to USA TODAY on Saturday that he sent an internal memo to the show’s crew on Friday, informing them there “would be no more ‘live’ weapons on the show.”

“It was an easy decision to make given the recent tragedy, and I think every production should consider making it,” Hawley added in a statement.

The procedural change came a day after authorities said Alec Baldwin discharged a prop firearm on the set of the upcoming film “Rust,” killing the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring the film’s director Joel Souza.

“The tragic events in New Mexico yesterday have shaken us all, and our hearts go out to the friends and family of Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza,” the memo first obtained by The Hollywood Reporter read. “As of today, it is now policy on The Rookie that all gunfire on set will be Air Soft guns with CG muzzle flashes added in post.”

“The Rookie,” which is currently premiering new episodes of its fourth season on ABC and was a top performer in USA TODAY’s “Save Our Shows” poll, stars Nathan Fillion as the LAPD’s oldest recruit.

USA TODAY reached out to representatives for Fillion and the show for further comment.

“The safety our cast and crew is too important. Any risk is too much risk,” the memo said.

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On Friday, “Mare of Easttown” director Craig Zobel also criticized the decision to have real guns on set, calling them “an unnecessary risk.”

“There’s no reason to have guns loaded with blanks or anything on set anymore. Should just be fully outlawed. There’s computers now. The gunshots on Mare of Easttown are all digital. You can probably tell, but who cares?” Zobel tweeted.

“I concede live rounds have a role on set: I do think there are protocols to doing it safely, and I’ve had live rounds on sets for years. Always made me nervous, though. So this last project we didn’t. I think it took a level of anxiety away.”

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According to the Los Angeles Times and Deadline, crew members working on “Rust” raised concerns about several problems, including safety issues, prior to Thursday’s incident.

The outlets report that, hours before the fatal incident, members of the “Rust” camera crew packed up their gear and walked off the job in protest and, per the LA Times, were replaced with nonunion crew members soon after. The outlets also noted at least two previous misfires on a prop gun on set days before.

In a statement to the LA Times and Deadline, Rust Movie Productions LLC said the “safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company.”

Contributing: Charles Trepany, Jenna Ryu

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘The Rookie’ bans live guns from set after deadly ‘Rust’ shooting


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