Entertainment industry, please do better

Aditya Thiyag | The Chronicle

Entertainment is never worth your life.

In the past month, two entirely preventable tragedies took place; the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the film set Rust and the crowd crush that resulted in 8 confirmed deaths and over 300 injuries at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival.

The internet was frenzied to address the root cause of the events. Who was to blame? Propmasters for rushing through gun checks? Assistant directors for ignoring blocked exits? Venues, for
prioritizing profits over human lives and sealing 50,000 people in with metal gates to asphyxiate and get trampled for hours on end? Or the frontmen of the two events, Scott and Baldwin themselves?

There was so much blame to go around that it didn’t take long for individuals to begin defending those in charge of the venues, labeling those placing blame as cruel or dispassionate.

But to fans of Scott or Baldwin that are defending either, or maybe both, I have a question.

What did you gain?

What did you gain from defending two wealthy, successful individuals online? Defending individuals who have no idea who you are?Defending individuals who were fully educated of the consequences of their actions? Defending individuals whose actions led to the death of children younger than I am and a cinematographer who protested for better working conditions until she lost her life to them?

I understand being empathetic. I was initially empathetic towards Baldwin for accidentally killing Hutchins as well as towards Scott because I believed that both were oblivious to the horrors occurring behind the scenes. But reading about their past transgressions, about Baldwin’s ignorance of the crew’s protests, and Scott’s encouragement of those who sneak past barricades and “rage”, it becomes significantly more difficult to empathize with either. I’m not asking for either to be treated apathetically but to instead recognize the importance of holding those in charge accountable for showing blatant disregard for the safety of those they lead.

No one is saying that either killed individuals with malicious intent. But both are wholly responsible for the deaths and injuries that took place, and an apology on Twitter isn’t going to cut it.

Don’t let this system take a step back, empower it to leap forward.

Illustration by Alisha Verma