Netflix is accused of allowing unsafe work practices to be avoided in the production of its new original series The Chosen One after two actors were killed in a car accident that left six others injured.
Raymundo Garduno Cruz and Juan Francisco Gonzalez Aguilar were killed at a distance from the state of Baja California after the van in which they turned in travel
Six others, who also traveled in the vans, managed to survive, but some were badly injured.
The van crashed last weekend at Mulegé in a desert area when the group was traveling between there and Santa Rosalia, where the show is being filmed.
Questions are now being asked about how the cast and crew were treated in the days leading up to the accident.
Anonymous members of the cast and crew have expressed their concern that long working days were ruined by everyone involved in making the show – with the drivers in particular the risk of fatigue with early start and long rides that ‘ t are necessary to reach the location of the distance from the desert.
Netflix said it was ‘deeply saddened’ by the deaths of The Chosen One actors Raymundo Garduño Cruz (L) and Juan Francisco González Aguilar in a car accident in Mexico last week that left six others injured
The crew had to travel along a long stretch of the Transpeninsular Highway near Santa Rosalia with dangerous bends and several long straight sections (file photo)
Netflix has outsourced the making of the show to production company Redrum, who said in a statement that it was ‘shocked’ by the ‘tragic accident’ and that it was ‘all those affected by this unspeakable tragedy’ support.
The streamer said the accident happened while the crew was en route from Santa Rosalía to the local airport, and that production was temporarily halted.
In a statement released earlier this week, Netflix said: ‘We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident that claimed the lives of Ray Garduño and Juan Francisco González. Our thoughts are with their loved ones and with the wounded in this unfortunate accident. ‘
“Redrum has cooperated with local authorities and initial reports and accounts of witnesses indicate that all safety protocols were in place and this was an unfortunate accident,” the production company said.
But the accident has now brought attention to the circumstances in which the crew and actors found themselves as they attempted to complete several days of filming in a remote part of the country, with suggestions that corners were cut off to save money which endangers the safety of workers.
Garduno (pictured) and Gonzalez were filming Netflix’s The Chosen One, which focuses on a 12-year-old boy who turns out to be the second coming of Christ.
Netflix had outsourced the production of The Chosen One to Redrum Productions. The filming took place at Santa Rosalia in Mexico
A Mexican newspaper, Milenioran a report related to the incident titled, “What Netflix Doesn’t Want You to Know.”
It suggested that productions made in Mexico were full of stories of drivers falling asleep at the wheel, along with exhausting long days for staff.
The problem, said author Viri Ríos, is that Mexican production houses have tried to lure producers of streamers such as HBO and Netflix, by putting themselves on the cheap.
It includes paying staff the bare minimum along with saving on costs for other essentials such as safety and production time.
Rios noted how trade unions in the arts were simply not common in Mexico, leaving workers exposed and unprotected, in contrast to the many unions that exist in the entertainment sector in the US
‘The vast majority of filmmakers are freelancers and some of their professions, such as assistant directors, sound engineers, stage workers, electricians or set-top workers, are afraid of joining a trade union. Some trade unions have disappeared from the map due to corruption and do not know how to move with the times. It is time for workers in the entertainment sector to come together and create new unions that improve their conditions, ‘Rios wrote.
Such complaints are now being investigated by the Mexican Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare in Baja California Sur.
“We have heard the complaints of those who claim that the companies they have hired do not provide sufficient security, and we have agreement based on that,” Mercedes representative Maciel Ortiz told The Daily Beast. “We are investigating the companies that hired the actors, as well as the situation of the injured.”
“If unsafe conditions are identified, companies will be held accountable,” Ortiz added.
Ortiz, a federal official, said the circumstances surrounding the accident will be investigated along with any allegations of unsafe travel practices.
A police report seen by The Daily Beast explained how the van in which the Netflix actors were traveling crossed the center line on the highway before the driver was suddenly too corrected, hit a safety bar on the side of the road and the van hit the road. his roof.
Víctor Gómez, who works at the Community Hospital in Loreto in Baja California Sur, where two other passengers were treated for their injuries in the crash, said he believes speed may have been a factor.
Isaías Albelda, another of the passengers on board said he was not a witness to unsafe practices personally and his complaints were more related to comfort than safety.
“I never felt unsafe or in danger,” he said. ‘The vans used for transportation were about the same cars I’ve seen in other productions.’
To reach the nearest airport, Loreto International, the crew had to travel along a long stretch of highway with dangerous bends and several long straight sections.
The driver who was believed to be behind the wheel in the fatal crash has been identified as 21-year-old Alberto Jiménez Gómez who had just started work on the production one day in advance.
‘As far as I know, he had a chance at rest and everything, but I do not know, to be honest. Sometimes you are in the hotel and can not rest, ‘said Albelda.
One source working on the production said the transport around the film shoot was often chaotic, with some drivers deciding not to use the hotels provided for them due to the extra driving time required to reach them.
This meant that rest schedules were often disrupted with insufficient funds provided to cover basic expenses for trips lasting several days.
‘It was a struggle to make them [Netflix] understand the real expenses that travel requires. ‘ The source also said that several of the used vans did not have working air conditioning.
Another person who was part of the cast on the production told The Daily Beast how production days were always boring, especially for those who have the task of driving the crew around.
‘In any production, transport is always the first to wake up and they are the last to go to bed. Their job is the most important of all jobs in production because their job is to transport lives, ‘said the anonymous sources.
Netflix has no public comment on the crash and it is unclear how the series will proceed (pictured, a scene from the series)
The cast member said the distance from where Netflix was filming meant the cast and crew might have to stay for several days, even if filming were to be completed.
‘Logistics for everyone has been a nightmare. Just because the movie locations are remote, but not because it is a bad working environment.
‘I also understand that the film and theater community is overwhelmed because we have lost two people we care about. When you lose people you care about, you get angry and hurt. And sometimes you need someone to blame. It’s just a complicated situation, ‘the cast member remarked.
The chosen one centers around a 12-year-old boy who finds himself to be the second coming of Christ. The series is based on a comic book by Mark Millar and artist Peter Gross and the crew began filming in April, according to Comic book.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Netflix and Redrum for comment on working conditions on set and the circumstances surrounding the tragic accident.
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