'The View' Mounts Defense of Alec Baldwin in Wake of First Interview on 'Rust' Shooting

In the wake of his first interview on the Rust shooting, The View panelists have mounted a defense of actor Alec Baldwin. On Thursday evening, ABC News aired a special interview with George Stephanopolous and Baldwin discussing the events that led to the tragic shooting which left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead. During Friday's episode of The View, co-host and attorney Sunny Hostin offered her personal and professional take on the matter, prompting other panelists to weigh in.

"I don't think he'll be found criminally responsible, but any lawsuit they're going to play this video. I got the tell you, I saw empathy, I saw remorse, I saw, you know, sympathy," Hostin said. Joy Behar then briefly interjected to ask Hostin if she felt that there was evidence of Baldwin suffering from "depression" as well. "I saw depression," Hostin replied. "He said he would have killed himself had he felt guilty about this. I thought it was a good thing [the interview] for him to do actually despite the critics who are saying otherwise."

Actress America Ferrara was a guest host during the episode, and offered her professional take as well, sharing what she's encountered throughout the years as someone who has worked with guns on film sets in the past. "I have handled guns and it's so many people's jobs to ensure the safety of every single person on that set. It's the AD's job, every producer's job – it's the director's job and the gun handler's job," said Ferrara said. She went on to explain that the actor handling the weapon does have a role in the process, but then argued, "it's not Alec Baldwin's job to alone to be responsible for that moment, it's so many people's jobs." 

Hutchins was killed on the set of Rust on Oct. 21, after a prop gun that Baldwin was holding, discharged. The gun was initially not believed to be loaded with live rounds. In addition to Hutchins' death, the incident also wounded the film's director, Joel Souza. Following the incident, Baldwin released a statement on Twitter, and later he spoke to a group of photographers who were inquiring about the incident.

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"A woman died," he told the group, per Deadline. "She was my friend. She was my friend. The day I arrived in Santa Fe to start shooting, I took her to dinner with Joel, the director. We were a very, very well-oiled crew shooting a film together and then this horrible event happened." The shooting on the set of Rust is still under investigation, and no charges have been filed.