Daniel Baldwin says brother Alec Baldwin is being scapegoated in ‘Rust’ shooting

Nardine Saad
Los Angeles Times

According to actor Daniel Baldwin, his older brother Alec Baldwin is “a target” being attacked for his political views in the wake of the “Rust” shooting.

The “Hawaii Five-0” star believes Alec is being scapegoated for the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the “Rust” set last month – but doesn’t think his brother is to blame because he wasn’t the person responsible for the weapon that shot and killed her.

Alec Baldwin, from left, Hilaria Baldwin, Daniel Baldwin and Billy Baldwin pose onstage during "Spike's One Night Only: Alec Baldwin" at The Apollo Theater on June 25, 2017 in New York City.

“You know Alec’s got the name, though, doesn’t he?” the younger Baldwin said on a Monday episode of the radio program “The Domenick Nati Show” on Instagram Live. “So let’s go ahead and take Alec for his political views and the many, many wonderful things he’s done for different charities and people and his wife and let’s see if we can’t sensationalize this and go after Alec.

“This is what he faces because he’s opinionated and he’s strong-headed and he has really staunch views on certain things, and those people who don’t like him will take advantage of him and persecute his wife,” the 61-year-old said.

Daniel Baldwin and Robin Hempel-Baldwin attend "Spike's One Night Only: Alec Baldwin" at The Apollo Theater on June 25, 2017 in New York City.

Name recognition aside, the actor said his outspoken brother is being scrutinized because of his political whims and polarizing personality. Conservatives have eviscerated the “Saturday Night Live” guest star since the tragedy, with the likes of Donald Trump Jr. and Candace Owens accusing the actor of being a killer.

And, as an example, Daniel referred to a viral incident involving Alec’s wife, Hilaria Baldwin, who was criticized late last year for claiming Spanish heritage, that put the “30 Rock” veteran and his family on the defensive.

“There’s so much going on in the world, and six months ago we’re talking about whether Hilaria speaks Spanish or not. He’s a target,” Daniel said. “Let them run with it because six months from now, everyone’s going to realize 1/8 those3/8  people are going to go to jail or they’re going to be sued, or whatever, and it won’t be him.”

As more details from the accident have been made public, Daniel was among those who placed blame on “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed and assistant director Dave Halls for the breakdown in the chain of command that led to Alec firing the fatal shot.

“Someone loaded that gun improperly,” Daniel said.

Attorneys for Gutierrez Reed have suggested sabotage, while Halls told investigators that he didn’t thoroughly check the gun before giving it to the actor. But Alec Baldwin, who was a producer on the western, was among those accused of negligence in a civil lawsuit filed by “Rust” gaffer last week.

“It’s really, really apparent that Alec has no blame in this at all,” Daniel said. He explained that it’s the armorer’s responsibility to ensure that the set weapons are safe and the assistant director’s duty to ensure that the gun handed to the actor is indeed “cold,” meaning there is no live ammunition in it.

“Remember: the actor’s an idiot,” Daniel said. “They’re there to do the acting. A number of protocols that have been made known to the public and known in this case exonerate Alec of any responsibility at all.”

The incident has also affected the way Daniel, who has several projects involving the use of prop guns, will handle weapons in the future to avoid similar tragedies.

“I myself from this will – as a protective layer at the end – insist that the weapon is open and I see every round in the gun,” he told Nati, a celebrity publicist. “I would never take a gun from someone after realizing that these people are human.”