Producer Scott Rudin says he will step back from his active Broadway productions and has apologized for his past abusive behavior in the workplace, in his first public statement since an exposé published in the Hollywood Reporter has stirred industry backlash.
Rudin, an EGOT-winning producer, 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.
“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 which he sent to The Washington Post 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.”
He continued: “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 1500 people working on these shows.”
Rudin declined to comment further on the statement, and no mention was made of his active film productions, which include the film “The Woman in the Window” starring Amy Adams that’s meant to premiere on Netflix next month. The Washington Post says that he has “spoken to confidants about beginning a program of anger management, or some manner of coaching.”
Rudin’s bad behavior and temper have long been documented as part of the “No Country for Old Men” and “The Social Network” producer’s four-decade career. But industry players like Annapurna’s Megan Ellison condemned Rudin in reaction to the piece. “This piece barely scratches the surface of Scott Rudin’s abusive, racist, and sexist behavior. Similarly to Harvey, too many are afraid to speak out. I support and applaud those who did. There’s good reason to be afraid because he’s vindictive and has no qualms about lying,” Ellison wrote.
And earlier this week, “Moulin Rouge!” stage actress Karen Olivo said she would not return to the Broadway production when the show reopens because “the silence about Scott Rudin” was “unacceptable.”
Rudin is not involved with “Moulin Rouge!” but he has been a big factor in the reopening of Broadway during the coronavirus pandemic and had three active shows on Broadway stages prior to the shutdown, including “The Book of Mormon,” Aaron Sorkin’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” and the new interpretation of “West Side Story.” He’s also behind an announced revival of “The Music Man” starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster and a touring version of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”