Scott Rudin stepping away from Broadway following workplace allegations
Scott Rudin, a theater and film producer who has won numerous awards for his work, said he’s stepping away from Broadway following allegations that he was violent and abusive toward his staff members.
“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 said in a statement Saturday. “I am now taking steps that I should have taken years ago to address this behavior.”
Rudin, 62, said his departure will be immediate and his roles on upcoming Broadway productions will be filled by the “community and in a number of cases, from the roster of participants already in place on those shows.”
Several Broadway stars have called out the industry for not addressing Rudin’s alleged behavior.
In a five-minute Instagram video on Wednesday, Tony Award winner Karen Olivo announced that she would not be returning to “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” when performances resume, saying that she wants a “theater industry that matches my integrity.”
The Latina actress, who played Satine in the musical, went on to call the silence about Rudin “unacceptable.”
“Social justice is actually more important than being the sparkling diamond,” Olivo said. “Building a better industry is more important than putting money in my pockets.”
Earlier this month, “On Your Feet!” actor Mauricio Martinez said it was “disheartening to witness most of the entertainment industry be silent about a producer who was exposed for abusing & sometimes physically assaulting his employees.”
“It’s almost as if assistants aren’t worth anything in your estimation as long as you keep living your dreams,” he tweeted on April 8.
Film producer Megan Ellison re-tweeted an article about Rudin written by The Hollywood Reporter, saying that it “barely scratches the surface of Scott Rudin’s abusive, racist, and sexist behavior.”
“Similarly to Harvey, too many are afraid to speak out,” Ellison tweeted on April 7. “I support and applaud those who did. There’s good reason to be afraid because he’s vindictive and has no qualms about lying.”
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.”
Broadway productions have been paused due to the coronavirus pandemic. In his statement, Rudin said he hopes the industry can reopen successfully soon and did not want the allegations against him to interfere.
“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,” he said.
Following his announcement, the Actors’ Equity Association praised those who came forward about Rudin.
“Since news reports emerged about Scott Rudin, we have had many private conversations with our sibling unions and the Broadway League. 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,” a statement read.
The association, which represents more than 51,000 actors and stage managers, also called on the producer to release his staff from nondisclosure agreements.
“This is an important step in creating truly safe and harassment-free theatrical workplaces on Broadway and beyond,” it said.