11 On-Set Disasters That Forced Hollywood to Rewrite the Rule Book

Hollywood safety advances one mistreated horse at a time.
11 On-Set Disasters That Forced Hollywood to Rewrite the Rule Book

Once upon a time, in a far-off land known as Hollywood, filmmakers and actors alike were driven by their passion and desire to create something truly magical. Little did they know that their dreams would lead to some of the most tragic and preventable deaths in the history of the industry. The stories of these unfortunate souls, and the subsequent changes that their deaths brought about, are a reminder to us all that safety should always come first. 

From horses plunging to their doom in Jesse James, to a helicopter crash in Twilight Zone: The Movie, to a real gunshot in The Crow, to a fatal train accident in Midnight Rider, to a drowning (allegedly) in Noah’s Ark, to a car crash in Pleasantville, to stunts gone wrong in The Walking Dead and Deadpool 2, to a failed motorbike stunt in Million Dollar Mystery, to a prop gun misfire in Rust, to a death while recording a robbery attempt in Cops, and finally to the mistreatment of a horse in Heaven’s Gate, these stories are a reminder of the importance of safety in the entertainment industry. 

Safety, finally?

Hollywood tragedies that brought change Deadpool 2 Stunts gone wrong After the deaths of stunt performers, the SAG-AFTRA union set up a commission to look into issues like long hours, having to drive far to work, and how to protect people from bad weather on movie and TV sets. The Walking Dead CRACKED

20th Century Studios, AMC Networks


Rest in peace, Brent

Hollywood tragedies that brought change Pleasantville A car crash In honor of cameraman Brent Hershman, who died in a car crash after a 19-hour shift, the Screen Actors Guild and other entertainment unions have come together to make sure no one works more than 12 hours in a day. This is now known as Brent's Rule. CRACKED

New Line Cinema


Safety last

Hollywood tragedies that brought change Noah's Ark Drowning (well, allegedly) On the set of the 1928 movie Noah's Ark, three people reportedly passed away while filming a scene about the Great Flood. This caused safety rules to be put in place in Hollywood - a new idea at the time. CRACKED

Warner Bros. Pictures


Safety first... eventually

Hollywood tragedies that brought change RIZONA ZZARD U.S.ARMY Million Dollar Mystery A failed motorbike stunt After stuntman Dar Robinson died while filming Million Dollar Mystery in 1987, it became a requirement for ambulances to be on movie sets to make sure everyone was safe. CRACKED

De Laurentiis Entertainment Group

The National

What is it with abusing horses every few decades?

Hollywood tragedies that brought change Heaven's Gate Mistreating a horse 1980's Heaven's Gate caused a lot of controversy when a lawsuit was filed for mistreating a horse. This led to Hollywood making a deal with the American Humane Association to increase oversight and ensure animals get treated properly. CRACKED

United Artists

Humane Hollywood

Tragic, yet preventable

Hollywood tragedies that brought change The Crow A real gunshot Actor Brandon Lee was killed in 1993 while filming The Crow due to a prop gun accident. His mother sued the filmmakers and won, and the incident spurred the need for better safety measures when using prop guns on set. CRACKED

Miramax Films


Death by Cops

Hollywood tragedies that brought change Cops Killed while recording a robbery attempt In 2014, an audio technician was killed while recording an attempted robbery at a fast-food restaurant while filming Cops. This was the first death in the show's history, so OSHA suggested more training and safety guidelines for the crew. CRACKED

Langley Television Distribution

AP News

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