Republicans rush to mock Alec Baldwin in wake of tragic film set accident

"Let Trump back on," Ohio Senate hopeful J.D. Vance wrote. "We need Alec Baldwin tweets"

Published October 22, 2021 8:03PM (EDT)

Alec Baldwin attends the World Premiere of National Geographic Documentary Films' 'The First Wave' at Hamptons International Film Festival on October 07, 2021. (Getty Images)
Alec Baldwin attends the World Premiere of National Geographic Documentary Films' 'The First Wave' at Hamptons International Film Festival on October 07, 2021. (Getty Images)

Less than 24 hours after a tragic New Mexico film set accident involving Alec Baldwin claimed the life of a cinematographer and injured the movie's director, Republicans were already making light of the incident and cracking jokes about Baldwin, a longtime right-wing boogeyman.

The A-lister was reportedly rehearsing for a scene in the western, "Rust," when he fired a prop gun that was loaded with a "live single round." The shot killed the film's 42-year-old director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, and injured director Joel Souza, 48, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 44 said in an email to its members.

Just hours after news of the incident broke, Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance was already online and gloating about the situation. 

"Dear @jack," he wrote, tagging Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. "Let Trump back on. We need Alec Baldwin tweets."

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The message was not received well, and drew criticism from Vance's prospective Democratic opponent, Tim Ryan, who replied: "Someone died, you assh*le."

But he wasn't the only one deriding Baldwin in the wake of the tragedy — conservative commentator Candace Owens added in a since-deleted Tweet that "what has happened to Alec would be poetic justice if it weren't for the actual innocent people that were murdered by him."

She later added: "Will correct that last tweet to say Alec Baldwin *killed* someone— not murdered someone, as murder carries a different legal definition."

A number of other pundits and right-wing personalities also jumped on a tweet of Baldwin's from the first round of Black Lives Matter protests, in 2014, which read: "I'm going to make bright, banana-yellow T-shirts that read: "My hands are up. Please don't shoot me." Who wants one?"

Even Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., got in on the action, posting a screenshot of Baldwin's tweet with the caption: "@AlecBaldwin are these still available? Asking for a movie producer…"

RELATED: Alec Baldwin "cooperating" after fatally shooting one, injuring another with prop gun on set

The comments horrified a number of Twitter users, who flooded the Congresswoman's replies with admonitions. 

"Have you no shame? Remove this tweet. It's utterly disrespectful to the victim & her family," one person wrote.

"I'm sorry you are so broken inside," another added.

Baldwin released his first statement Friday since the incident occurred, saying the he was cooperating with authorities and that he has spoken with Hutchins' family.

"There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours," he tweeted.

"I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."

By Brett Bachman

Brett Bachman was the Nights/Weekend Editor at Salon.

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Accident Alec Baldwin Film Set Gop Gun New Mexico Politics Reporting Republicans Right-wing Media Rust Shooting Twitter