FACT CHECK: No, Alec Baldwin Didn’t Jokingly Threaten To Shoot Filmmakers Prior To Deadly Prop Gun Incident

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Instagram allegedly shows a news report claiming actor Alec Baldwin jokingly threatened to shoot the director and cinematographer of the film “Rust” moments prior to the fatal discharge of a prop gun on-set.


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Verdict: False

There is no evidence Baldwin jokingly threatened to shoot the director and cinematographer prior to the prop gun incident. The Variety article in the screen grab has been digitally altered to include the fake Baldwin quote.

Fact Check

Baldwin on Oct. 21 fatally shot “Rust” director of photography Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza when the prop gun he was holding discharged while rehearsing a scene, the Associated Press reported. An affidavit filed by police in a Sante Fe court said Baldwin had been told the gun he had been handed by an assistant director was safe, according to NBC News.

Instagram users have been sharing what looks like a screen grab of a news article alleging Baldwin had jokingly threatened to shoot Souza and Hutchins moments prior to the fatal discharge of the prop gun. One sentence in the screen grab reads, “According to an on-set source, the director had called for another take when Baldwin (jokingly) remarked ‘Another take? How about I just f*ckin’ shoot the both of ya?’ before firing on the pair.”

Most of the language included in the screen grab comes from a Variety article published Oct. 21. However, the sentence about Baldwin supposedly jokingly threatening the director and cinematographer appears to have been photoshopped in, as it does not appear in Variety’s article. Check Your Fact also didn’t find any record of Variety including such a line in any of the archived versions of the article available on the Wayback Machine.

“I can confirm that the image is fake,” Seth Adams of The Lead PR, the firm that represents Variety, told Check Your Fact via email. “That information was never included in an article by Variety.” (RELATED: Did Fox News Report Alec Baldwin Was Ranting About Trump When He Shot His Co-Worker?)

Numerous media outlets have extensively covered the deadly prop gun incident as more information, including affidavits submitted to a court by police, has come out about the circumstances surrounding it. There have been no credible reports of Baldwin making a comment to the effect of the one in the doctored image.

Check Your Fact previously debunked a screen grab featuring a Fox News article that had been digitally manipulated to make it look like the outlet reported Baldwin had been ranting about former President Donald Trump just before the incident.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter