Who is Scott Rudin?
Rudin is a powerful producer with more than a dozen Tony Awards for his work on Broadway shows such as "The Book of Mormon," "Hello, Dolly!" and "Fences." In Hollywood, he's behind hit movies including "No Country for Old Men," "Lady Bird," "The Social Network," and "Clueless." NBC NewsScott Rudin stepping away from Broadway following workplace allegations
18 April, 2021 - 08:00pm
Scott Rudin, producer for Broadway shows including The Book of Mormon and To Kill a Mockingbird, will step back from his theater productions following reports of irate behavior and a hostile work environment.
Earlier this month, The Hollywood Reporter published a story chronicling Rudin's outbursts. On one occasion, the producer allegedly smashed a computer monitor on an assistant's hand after failing to secure a seat for Rudin on a sold-out flight.
In the wake of these accusations, Rudin released a statement Saturday apologizing for his behavior and announcing he will relinquish his theater duties on Broadway, The Associated Press and The Washington Post reported.
"After a period of reflection, I've made the decision to step back from active participation on our Broadway productions, effective immediately," Rudin said in the statement. "My roles will be filled by others from the Broadway community and in a number of cases, from the roster of participants already in place on those shows."
Rudin didn't deny the allegations in his statement, the outlets note. He did apologize for his "troubling interactions with colleagues" and acknowledged that he should have remedied his behavior years ago.
President Kate Shindle and Executive Director Mary McColl of The Actors' Equity Association, a labor union representing more than 51,000 live theater actors and stage managers, called on Rudin to release any staff members from any nondisclosure agreements they may have signed.
"We have heard from hundreds of members that these allegations are inexcusable, and everyone deserves a safe workplace whether they are a union member or not," the statement read. "This is an important step in creating truly safe and harassment-free theatrical workplaces on Broadway and beyond. It is not the end of our work to ensure a workplace safe for everyone in the industry as we work toward reopening."
As the COVID-19 pandemic looks like it could begin to recede in the U.S., Broadway shows are preparing to reopen. But following the news of Rudin and his outbursts, actor Karen Olivo said she won't return to Moulin Rouge! The Musical in protest once theaters reopen. Rudin is not involved in that production.
The AP also reported there are plans for a protest Wednesday. Demonstrators will stop at Rudin's office and at the Winter Garden Theatre, where he was producing The Music Man to debut in late 2021.
Rudin is also a Hollywood film producer, known for award-winning titles including No Country For Old Men and The Social Network. It is still unclear whether he will step back from the film industry as well.
Scott Rudin steps down after allegations of abusive behavior including launching baked potato at assistant
18 April, 2021 - 08:42am
“After a period of reflection, I’ve made the decision to step back from active participation on our Broadway productions, effective immediately. My roles will be filled by others from the Broadway community and in a number of cases, from the roster of participants already in place on those shows," Rudin said in a statement.
The move comes more than a week after The Hollywood Reporter’s cover story on Rudin contained accounts of the producing heavyweight throwing glass bowls, staples and baked potatoes at former employees. In his statement Saturday he did not deny the allegations.
“Much has been written about my history of troubling interactions with colleagues, and I am profoundly sorry for the pain my behavior caused to individuals, directly and indirectly. I am now taking steps that I should have taken years ago to address this behavior,” he said.
The revelations in The Hollywood Reporter also prompted the performers’ unions SAG-AFTRA Actors Equity and the American Federation of Musicians Local 802 to come together condemn illegal harassment and harassment that creates a toxic work environment for entertainment employees.
The revelations also prompted Tony Award-winner Karen Olivo to pull out of returning to “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” once it reopens. There are also plans for a protest March on Broadway on Wednesday, with stops at both Rudin’s office as well as the Winter Garden Theatre, where Rudin is producing the Broadway revival of “The Music Man." There's also a campaign to persuade Actors’ Equity Association to add Rudin to a Do Not Work list.
In his statement, Rudin mentioned the upcoming reopening of Broadway after the pandemic shuttered theaters for more than a year. He said he did not want to “interrupt” the work ahead.
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"My passionate hope and expectation is that Broadway will reopen successfully very soon, and that the many talented artists associated with it will once again begin to thrive and share their artistry with the world. I do not want any controversy associated with me to interrupt Broadway’s well deserved return, or specifically, the return of the 1,500 people working on these shows.”