“Real Time” host Bill Maher went to bat for Alec Baldwin, who he believes should not be facing jail time for the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Earlier this month, Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter for the 2021 accidental shooting of Hutchins on the set of his film “Rust,” which he was starring and producing.
During his “Overtime” segment on YouTube, Maher pulled a viewer question of whether he thought Baldwin should have been hit with the charges.
“No,” Maher responded. “I mean, I don’t know Alec Baldwin very well at all. He used to do this show, he stopped doing it years ago, I’m just setting this up like I have no personal, I’m not for him or against him. I like him as an actor, I don’t really know him. But unless you think Alec Baldwin purposefully shot this cinematographer, what the f— are we talking about?”
“It’s a horrible tragedy, there may be someone to blame whoever’s job it was to have that gun there, but I don’t think it’s the actor’s job,” Maher added.
The Free Press editor-in-chief Bari Weiss pointed out that Baldwin wasn’t only the actor but served as the producer of the film, which Maher quickly dismissed.
“It’s not the producer’s job either to check the guns!” Maher exclaimed. “I mean, you have to be able to delegate some things in life, no?”
“But the only thing that- he said that he didn’t pull the trigger. And the gun can’t go- I mean, I don’t know enough about this case, but he said he couldn’t pull the trigger but how does a gun go off without pulling the trigger?” Weiss asked. “That’s the one thing that I was like, ‘That’s a little odd.’”
After a chuckle, Maher replied, “He did say that, didn’t he.”
“I don’t know, I don’t know. He’s an actor,” Maher said, sparking laughs from the audience. “I mean, I just…judge them on a different curve.”
Weiss then questioned whether there was a “motivation to go after” Baldwin because of his celebrity status. Maher responded by suggesting there’s a broader reason behind the charges.
“I just think we live in a culture where someone always has to take the blame. Nobody can ever just throw up their hands and go, ‘Oh, my God. This is a terrible tragedy,’” Maher said. “You know, Democrats always have to say ‘this could never happen again’ no matter how rare or something- ‘we have to spend a zillion dollars so this will never happen again.’ And Republicans will be like, ‘well now they’re going after your prop guns,’ you know.”
“No one could ever just be reasonable, about anything,” Maher added before moving on to the next topic.
Baldwin and the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were both charged with involuntary manslaughter by Santa Fe prosecutors after Baldwin fired a gun he unknowingly had live ammunition instead of dummy rounds.
The charges could put Baldwin behind bars for 18 months or potentially up to five years depending on the verdict.
Many in Hollywood have rushed to Baldwin’s defense.