By Kerri-Ann Roper and Alex Green, PA Reporters
Alec Baldwin has been pictured hosting an event in the US which is reported to be his first public appearance since the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the Rust film set.
Hollywood star Baldwin, 63, accidentally shot and killed Hutchins, 42, when a gun he was holding went off during filming for the Western film in New Mexico in October, with the film’s director Joel Souza also injured.
Production on Rust has been halted indefinitely while authorities investigate the shooting, with Baldwin saying in his first TV interview since the incident, which aired on ABC in the US last week, that he did not pull the trigger and “couldn’t give a shit about my career any more”.
The actor, who has starred in films like The Hunt For Red October and Beetlejuice, was the master of ceremonies at the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights 2021 Ripple of Hope Gala held in New York City, according to the Associated Press.
The event, which has been running for 53 years, has “honoured exemplary leaders across the international business, entertainment, and activist communities” and who have “demonstrated a commitment to social change and reflect Robert Kennedy’s passion for equality, justice, basic human rights, and his belief that each of us can make a difference”, the event’s website said.
Tonight, we’re presenting the #RippleofHope award to changemakers whose commitment to social change has made our world a better and more hopeful place. Join us in congratulating these inspiring human rights defenders! #RFKAwards pic.twitter.com/ttHtQ3Jp7H
— RFK Human Rights (@RFKHumanRights) December 10, 2021
American lawyer and politician Robert F Kennedy, or Bobby as he was known, served as a United States attorney general and a senator, and was assassinated in June 1968. His brother, John F Kennedy, or JFK as he became known, was serving as the president of the United States when he was assassinated in 1963.
Poet Amanda Gorman was named as one of the 2021 Ripple of Hope Laureates, alongside Georgian Democrat Stacey Abrams, who recently announced she will run for Governor again.
Baldwin was listed as master of ceremonies on the event’s website with US vice president Kamala Harris named as the keynote speaker.
Video footage shows his opening speech, with the star saying: “Thank you for all coming out tonight. It’s great to be together in person. It’s great to be with everyone. My wife and I have six kids, anything to get out of the house for 30 minutes.
“Bobby Kennedy urged us to make gentle the life of the world, tonight we’re here to remember his life and work. We will celebrate these extraordinary honourees and we commit ourselves to what Bobby said when he announced his presidential bid quote: peace, justice and compassion for those who suffer, that’s what the United States should stand for.”
The actor’s outing comes as he shared an open letter written by members of the cast and crew of Rust, denying the production was a “chaotic, dangerous and exploitative workplace”.
Signed by more than 20 individuals, it claims the public narrative surrounding the incident, that the production was being mismanaged, is “inadequate” and distracts from “what matters the most” – the memory of Hutchins.
Baldwin, who was also a producer on Rust, shared the letter on Instagram on Wednesday, only commenting: “From some of the crew of RUST.”
The letter featured signatures from members of the casting, camera, props, special effects, grips, hair, make-up, location and medical teams.
It read: “We, the undersigned, believe the public narrative surrounding our workplace tragedy to be inadequate and wish to express a more accurate account of our experience.”
The letter said “it is common to work on unprofessional or hectic productions to gain experience and credits”, but that Rust was not one of those.
The letter also addressed a number of staff walking off set to protest the working conditions during production saying working hours and wages were “fair and consistent with expectations”, and said the reported 12-hour shifts were typical of film sets.