Media titan Scott Rudin, one of only 16 people ever to win competitive Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards, and the only person to have done so solely as a producer, told the Washington Post that he is “stepping back,” at least from his Broadway ventures. This comes in the wake of an exposé published by The Hollywood Reporter less than two weeks ago that details decades of abusive behavior.
“I am profoundly sorry for the pain my behavior caused to individuals, directly and indirectly,” he told the Post‘s Peter Marks. “After a period of reflection, I’ve made the decision to step back from active participation on our Broadway productions, effective immediately.”
During Rudin’s time away from producing, he says he will be “taking steps that I should have taken years ago to address this behavior.”
The final straw to making the announcement was likely Karen Olivo resigning from Moulin Rouge! The Musical prior to its return to the boards as a demonstration against the what she construed to be the the theater world’s indifference to Rudin’s actions. “Building a better industry is more important than me putting money in my pockets,” Olivo said. That Moulin Rouge! was not even a Rudin production undoutebdly had even wider resonance within the community.
This came on the heels of a statement from SAG-AFTRA demanding “harassment-free workplaces in the arts,” the timing of which can be seen as a repudiation of Rudin. Also, RadarOnline reported that “sources” told them that Hugh Jackman was “feeling pressure” to pull-out of the Rudin-produced revival of The Music Man, which will surely be one of the hottest tickets in town once Broadway reopens.
While Rudin’s stature as a “horrible boss” has been known for a generation (indeed, Kevin Spacey‘s performance in the 1994 film Swimming with Sharks is commonly accepted to have been based on him) THR‘s story, replete with images of hurled baked potatoes, smashed computer monitors, and broken hands, has got people reminiscing about old stories.
The Post writes that Rudin stepping back has “potentially immense consequences” for Broadway, and cites 77 different musicals and plays with a Rudin producer credit since the early 1990s.
There is no word currently on whether Rudin will continue to work on film production, or if he will similarly “step back.”
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