Scott Rudin says he’s “stepping back” from film and streaming projects, along with his Broadway productions, as the fallout continued for one of the entertainment industry’s most powerful and prolific producers following renewed accusations of bullying.
In a statement Tuesday, Rudin said he would use the time to “work on personal issues I should have long ago.” Rudin, who has many projects in various stages of development, didn’t otherwise specify what “stepping back” entailed.
“When I commented over the weekend, I was focused on Broadway reopening successfully and not wanting my previous behavior to detract from everyone’s efforts to return,” said Rudin. “It’s clear to me I should take the same path in film and streaming. I am profoundly sorry for the pain my behavior has caused and I take this step with a commitment to grow and change.”
On Saturday, Rudin said his work on Broadway would for now be filled by others, including those already at work on those productions. His responses follow a story by The Hollywood Reporter on April 7 that detailed numerous instances of alleged harsh treatment of employees of his production company, including smashing a laptop screen on an assistant’s hand and throwing objects including glass bowls, staplers and baked potatoes.
Producer Scott Rudin, one of the most successful and powerful producers, with a heap of Oscars and Tonys to show for it, has long been known for his torturous treatment of an ever-churning parade of assistants.
(Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
While well known for his allegedly verbally abusive treatment of a revolving door of assistants, the 62-year-old Rudin has long shepherded some of the most acclaimed films and Broadway shows to fruition. His productions have accumulated more than 150 Oscar nominations and some 17 Tonys.
That includes films like “No Country for Old Men,” “The Social Network,” “The Truman Show,” “Fences” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” His Broadway hits include “The Book of Mormon” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” In the past, he’s defended his workplace environment as part of a tough business.
While most of Rudin’s collaborators have been quiet following the article, several prominent labor unions have responded. The Actors’ Equity Association, which represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theater, called on Rudin to release former employees from nondisclosure agreements signed during employment with him.
Upcoming film projects for Rudin include Netflix’s starry adaptation of the bestseller “The Woman in the Window,” A24’s adaptation of the Tony-winning play “The Humans” and Joel Coen’s Shakespeare adaptation “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” with Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand. Current Broadway shows produced by Rudin include “The Book of Mormon,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “West Side Story” and the upcoming revival of “The Music Man.”
SAG-AFTRA, the Actors’ Equity Association and the American Federation of Musicians Local 802 released a joint statement that didn’t directly address the Rudin report but spoke out against toxic workplace environments.
“Every worker deserves to do their job in an environment free of harassment of any kind, whether that harassment creates a toxic workplace or, certainly in the case of sexual harassment, when that behavior is also against the law,” the unions said.