Hollywood has been at the movie game for a long, long time. They’ve used guns in those movies for pretty much the entire time. Yet despite more than a century of filmmaking, there are still problems.
We saw that with the situation involving Alec Baldwin.
Now, someone who knows well how Hollywood can screw it up is calling for more gun training on film sets.
Shannon Lee, daughter of the late martial arts legend Bruce Lee and sister of Brandon Lee — who died tragically from a gunshot while filming in 1993 — has called for more “gun safety training” on sets.
At a red carpet event on Monday ahead of the Asian World Film Festival in Los Angeles — at which Lee is slated to present the first honoree of the newly created Bruce Lee Award — the 52-year-old actor, producer and accomplished martial artist herself spoke to Agence France-Presse on the tragic killing of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins last month during filming of the American Western film “Rust.”
“I think that mandatory gun safety training [should be required] for the actor so that they can check the guns themselves and know how to use them appropriately, and so that they can keep others safe,” Lee told AFP.
Her brother was just 28 years old when he was shot and killed on the set of “The Crow” under circumstances similar to Hutchins’ death.
Shannon Lee said that Hollywood’s gun safety standards are “frustrating.”
“It shouldn’t happen again,” she said, suggesting that the death of her brother should have been the last of its kind.
There have been a whole lot of suggestions, including eliminating the use of actual firearms from movie sets, but Lee’s recommendation actually makes far, far more sense.
Look, all the safety procedures currently on the books should stay. Yet on top of that, actors should be responsible for checking their own firearms. They should be familiar with what the various types of blanks should look like as well as be able to recognize whether a live round is present.
It’s another layer of safety at the final point of contact with the firearm. Even if someone else along the way screws the pooch, the actor who will be pulling the trigger will be able to make sure the weapon is in fact cold or, if there are “rounds” in it, that they’re the right kind of rounds.
Over the last week or so, I’ve heard a lot of excuses why actors shouldn’t be asked to check their weapons, such as how they need to be focused on their performance, but Lee grew up around Hollywood. Her father was a movie legend. Her brother likely could have been if he hadn’t been cut down because of a situation like this. Hell, she’s done a dozen movies herself.
If anyone knows of the demands on an actor, it’s Lee. She believes they can do the job while checking the weapon and I happen to agree. Granted, my acting is community theater, not Hollywood, but if I’m sure I can manage it, then Hollywood’s A-list sure as hell can.