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Netflix cops in Mexico after van carrying cast from The Chosen One careened off road killing two

Netflix has been accused of permitting unsafe work practices in the production of its new original series The Chosen One after two actors were killed in a car accident that injured six others.

Raymundo Garduno Cruz and Juan Francisco Gonzalez Aguilar were killed in a remote part of the state of Baja California after the van they were traveling in turned over

Six others, who were also in the vans, survived, but some were left seriously injured.

The van crashed near Mulegé in a desert area last weekend while the group was en route between there and Santa Rosalia, where the show is being filmed.

Questions are now being raised about how the cast and crew were treated in the days leading up to the crash.

Anonymous cast and crew members have expressed concerns that everyone involved in the making of the show had to endure long work days — with the drivers in particular at risk of fatigue with early starts and long drives that required were to reach the remote desert location.

Raymundo Garduño Cruz

Juan Francisco Gonzalez Aguilar

Netflix said it is “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, in which six others were injured.

The crew had to travel a long stretch of the Transpeninsular Highway near Santa Rosalia with dangerous curves and several long straights (file photo)

The crew had to travel a long stretch of the Transpeninsular Highway near Santa Rosalia with dangerous curves and several long straights (file photo)

Netflix has outsourced the making of the show to production company Redrum, which said in a statement it was “shocked” by the “tragic accident” and that it “closely supports all those affected by this unspeakable tragedy.”

The streamer said the crash happened while the crew was en route from Santa Rosalía to the local airport, and production had been temporarily halted.

In a statement released earlier this week, Netflix said: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident that killed Ray Garduño and Juan Francisco González. Our thoughts are with their loved ones and those injured in this unfortunate accident.”

“Redrum has been working with local authorities and initial reports and witness testimony indicate that all safety protocols were in place and that this was an unfortunate accident,” the manufacturing company said.

But the accident has now drawn attention to the conditions 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 being cut to save money, affecting safety. of workers at risk.

Garduno (pictured) and Gonzalez were filming Netflix's The Chosen One, which focuses on a 12-year-old boy who finds out he is the second coming of Christ

Garduno (pictured) and Gonzalez were filming Netflix’s The Chosen One, which focuses on a 12-year-old boy who finds out he is the second coming of Christ

Netflix outsourced the production of The Chosen One to Redrum Productions.  It was filmed near Santa Rosalia in Mexico

Netflix outsourced the production of The Chosen One to Redrum Productions. It was filmed near Santa Rosalia in Mexico

a Mexican newspaper, Milenipublished a report on 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, coupled with exhaustingly long hours for staff.

The problem, author Viri Ríos claimed, is that Mexican production houses have tried to lure producers of streamers like HBO and Netflix into settling down cheaply.

It includes paying the bare minimum for staff and cutting costs on other essentials such as security and production time.

Rios noted that unions in the arts were simply not common in Mexico, leaving workers exposed and without protection, unlike the many unions that exist in the entertainment industry in the US.

“The vast majority of film workers are freelancers and some of their professions, such as assistant directors, sound engineers, stagehands, electricians or set builders, are afraid of joining a union. Some trade unions have completely disappeared from the map due to corruption and do not know how to keep up with the times. It’s time for entertainment industry workers to come together and form new unions that will improve their conditions,” Rios wrote.

Such complaints are now being investigated by the Mexican Ministry of Labor and Welfare in Baja California Sur.

“We have heard complaints from those who claim that the companies that hired them have not provided adequate security, and on that basis we have reached an agreement,” representative Mercedes Maciel Ortiz told IPS. The everyday beast† “We are investigating the companies that hired the actors and the situation of the injured.”

“If unsafe conditions are identified, the companies will be held accountable,” Ortiz added.

Ortiz, a federal official said the circumstances surrounding the accident will be investigated, along with any allegations related to unsafe travel practices.

A police report seen by The Daily Beast explained how the van the Netflix actors traveled in swerved across the central reservation on the highway before the driver suddenly overcorrected, hit a safety bar on the side of the road and tipped the van onto its roof.

Víctor Gómez, who works at Loreto Community Hospital 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 has not personally experienced any unsafe practices and that his complaints were more related to comfort than safety.

“I’ve never felt unsafe or in danger,” he said. “The vans used for transportation were pretty much the same vehicles I’ve seen in other productions.”

To reach the nearest airport, Loreto International, the crew had to travel a long stretch of highway with dangerous bends and several long straights.

The driver believed to be behind the wheel in the fatal accident has been identified as 21-year-old Alberto Jiménez Gómez, who had just started production the day before.

“As far as I know, he’s had a chance to rest and stuff, but I don’t know, to be honest. Sometimes you sit in the hotel and you can’t rest,’ Albelda said.

A source working on the production said transportation around the filming 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.

It meant rest schedules were often disrupted with insufficient funds to cover basic costs for multi-day trips.

‘It was a struggle to make them’ [Netflix] understand the real costs involved in the trips.’ The source also said several of the vans used did not have working air conditioning.

Another person who was part of the production’s cast told The Daily Beast how production days were always grueling, especially for those who had to drive the crew around.

‘In any production, transport is always the first to wake up and the last to go to bed. Their job is the most important of all manufacturing jobs because their job is to transport lives,” the unnamed sources said.

Netflix has not publicly commented on the accident and it is unclear how the show will continue (pictured, a scene from the show)

Netflix has not publicly commented on the accident and it is unclear how the show will continue (pictured, a scene from the show)

The cast member said the remoteness from where Netflix was filming meant the cast and crew might have to stay for several days, even if filming was to be completed.

“Logistics has been a nightmare for everyone. Just because of the remote filming locations, but not because it’s a bad working environment.

“I also understand that the film and theater community is upset because we have lost two people we care about. When you lose people you care about, you’re angry and hurt. And sometimes you need someone to blame. It’s just a complicated situation,” the cast member noted.

The Chosen One revolves around a 12-year-old boy who finds out he is 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 Comic

DailyMail.com has reached out to Netflix and Redrum for comment regarding working conditions on set and the circumstances surrounding the tragic accident.

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