Amid social media discussion about the shocking video that emerged of a United Airlines employee brawling with an ex-NFL player at Newark International Airport, Alec Baldwin he had an important perspective to share on the employee’s right to a safe workplace environment.
Unfortunately for Baldwin, many begged to differ with the actor’s view that the employee was the victim. In response to an Instagram post on Baldwin’s comment, thousands suggested the compulsively outspoken actor should “sit this one out” given his own recent history regarding workplace safety. Specifically, they slammed Baldwin for lecturing anyone on workplace safety when he faces a criminal investigation and is being sued over his role his in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust,” a Western film he starred in and was producing .
Baldwin’s latest online controversy emerged after he decided to comment on the viral video of last Thursday’s airport brawl between a passenger and an United Airlines employee, according to The Shaderoom celebrity news account, which shared a screenshot Tuesday morning of Baldwin’s comment. Within two hours, The Shaderoom Post on Baldwin’s comment had been viewed more than 2 million times.
“Alec, have a seat sir,” wrote actor Laura Govan. Her response garnered more than 18,000 likes. Govan also wrote: “FYI You should still be grieving over the lady you killed.”
“Sir, you shot and killed someone at YOUR workplace. Please sit this one out,” added Wendy Osefo, a public affairs professor, political commentator and co-star of “The Real Housewives of Potomac.” Her comment garnered more than 13,000 likes within several hours.
The fight video showed the unidentified airline employee shoving ex-Denver Broncos cornerback Brendan Langley last Thursday. It’s not clear what prompted the shoving, but the video showed that Langley reacted by unleashing a flurry of blows that sent the employee reeling. Rather than stay down, the bloodied employee got back up and tried to fight Langley some more.
In choosing to see the employee as the victim, Baldwin expressed support for his right to be safe in his workplace. He said, “The guy working at the airport is the victim. He came to work to do a job. The other guy, with his big mouth his, is guilty of workplace abuse, where people come to work with an expectation of safety, even civility. This (expletive) who hit this guy should be put on a no fly list.”
Meanwhile, Govan mostly received praise for telling Baldwin to “have a seat.” Many expressed disbelief that Baldwin would voice support for the employee, saying the video showed him striking Langley first, but they also expressed anger over Baldwin’s arrogance and “privilege” in thinking he should have a voice on this incident.
“The nerve of him,” one person wrote, while another said that Baldwin seems to think that people have forgotten that he killed someone.
“He needs to be quiet,” one person wrote. “You killed someone at your work place sir so sit down and don’t comment.”
Some people came to Baldwin’s defense Tuesday, saying that it was “low” for anyone to bring up Hutchins’ death. They argued that Hutchins’ death wasn’t Baldwin’s fault. Rather it was, as Baldwin has said, “a tragic accident.”
Hutchins was killed Oct. 21 on the Santa Fe, New Mexico set of the low-budget Western film. Baldwin was handling a Colt .45 revolver while rehearsing a scene with Hutchins and director Joel Souza. For reasons yet to be determine, the gun was loaded with a live round, when it only should have been loaded with dummy rounds.
The gun also fired, with the round striking both Hutchins and Souza. Hutchins was killed and Souza was wounded. Baldwin has denied pulling the trigger and said that he accepted the assistant director’s word that the gun was safe to use.
The criminal investigation by New Mexico authorities is ongoing. For his role his in the shooting and as a producer on the film, Baldwin has been named as a defendant in lawsuits filed by Hutchins ‘family and by the film ‘s script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell.
The family’s lawsuit, filed in February on behalf of Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, and her 9-year-old son, Andros, alleges that Baldwin “recklessly” shot and killed the cinematographer. The suit also alleges that Baldwin, the film’s other producers and other defendants failed to “perform industry standard safety checks and follow basic gun safety rules while using real guns to produce the movie ‘Rust,’ with fatal consequences.”
The New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau in April issued a hefty fine of $139,793 against Rust Movie Productions, the production company behind “Rust,” for a number of workplace safety violations. The bureau said the company failed across the board to maintain and enforce industry standard protocols for using guns on the set — failures that led to Hutchins’ death.