In the wake of accusations of physical and verbal harassment dating back years against film and stage producer Scott Rudin, the Producers Guild of America announced Thursday that it will be creating a task force to combat bullying in the industry.
“We are deeply disturbed and disheartened by the continuing allegations of workplace harassment and abuse in our industry, and stand with those who speak out against such violence and intimidation in all forms,” read a statement from the PGA that did not mention Rudin by name.
“We must work together to make our industry a more equitable and safe place for everyone involved, no matter what their level or role. As a first step, the Producers Guild will be expanding our Independent Production Safety Initiative (IPSI) to include anti-bullying trainings with the goal of eliminating workplace violence and aggression,” the statement continued. “In addition, we are forming a task force to examine these issues within our membership and the entertainment business at large. We stand committed to working with our colleagues at other organizations to eradicate this behavior.”
Rudin was accused in an April 7 article in THR by several named former assistants and employees of physical and mental abuse, including allegedly breaking a computer monitor on an assistant’s hand and throwing objects like potatoes and glass bowls at staffers.
In the wake of the article, Rudin said he would step back from his Broadway productions and his film and streaming projects, and as a result he is no longer involved with the upcoming revival of “The Music Man” on Broadway or five films in which he was working as a producer at A24.
“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,” he wrote in a three-paragraph statement he sent to The Washington Post on Saturday. “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.”
While much of the industry has remained quiet on Rudin, “The Music Man” stars Sutton Foster and Hugh Jackman did recently put out statements applauding those who spoke up, and Annapurna’s Megan Ellison also lambasted Rudin for his past bad behavior. Further, actress Karen Olivo said she would not return to the Broadway production of “Moulin Rouge! – which Rudin is not involved in – saying that the “silence” around Rudin was “unacceptable.”