Stunt work is a tough job. When you see a big budget action movie and it appears as though the A-list actor is doing some incredible physical feats, it’s most likely the stunt person because if they get hurt then it’ll stop production altogether.
Every once in a while stuntmen and women lose their life all in the name of moviemaking.
And now we’re learning that the producers of “Deadpool 2” violated safety laws that contributed to a stuntwoman’s death.
There are several infamous incidents of stuntmen and women losing their lives on the sets of movies. It’s intense work and can be extremely dangerous which is why there are laws to make it as safe as possible.
For instance, one of the most infamous on-set killings was during the “Twilight Zone: The Movie” when on July 23rd 1982, a helicopter crash took the lives of actor Vic Morrow and two children in Santa Clarita, California.
Another was when actor Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee’s son, died while shooting “The Crow” in Wilmington, North Carolina in March of 1993. Lee was killed after a worker created a makeshift bullet and mistakenly left in a gun used in the scene that shot him in the abdomen.
Just recently, a stunt double for Milla Jovovich on the set of “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter,” a stuntwoman filed a lawsuit against Paul W.S. Anderson and Jeremy Bolt for an accident where she lost her arm. The lawsuit from the 2015 incident claims Anderson and Bolt “promised to provide full financial support for all medical expenses” but then “welched on their promise.”
And now a Canadian safety organization that investigated a fatal motorcycle stunt crash in 2017 on the set of “Deadpool 2” found the production company violated a slew of safety regulations.
One of them was “Instructing the stunt performer not to wear safety headgear while operating the motorcycle.”
The stuntwoman’s name was Joi Harris and the accident that took her life was her very first movie stunt ever – she was ejected from the motorcycle she was operating and crashed through the window of a nearby building. Harris was an experienced motorcycle rider but this was her first movie.
The reason why many Hollywood productions are filmed in Canada is because of the competitive tax incentives that rival Georgia and Louisiana’s.
WorkSafeBC, British Columbia’s version of the U.S. government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also found that the film’s production company, TCF Vancouver Productions Ltd., “Failed to ensure that the workplace was designed with safety controls in place so that the stunt performer or the motorcycle could not proceed beyond the perimeter of the film set. Barriers were absent that should have prevented the stunt performer and motorcycle from leaving the set perimeter.”
They also found the company, “Failed to conduct a risk assessment addressing safety controls, speed of the motorcycle, and equipment limitations. The employer failed to complete important health and safety documentation, including a stunt safety inspection checklist and a production activity notification checklist, as required by its own health and safety program.”
That is gross negligence and it’s similar to the same checklist provided here in the United States.
The report added the company, “failed to ensure that the stunt performer was provided with a new worker orientation and failed to ensure that the stunt performer completed the young and new worker orientation checklist.”
The production will likely have to pay a pretty penny in settlement but these kinds of things should never happen in principal photography of a film this size. The studio and producers should know better.