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Scott Rudin To “Step Back” From Broadway Productions In Response To Abusive Behavior Allegations

Greg Evans
·4-min read

Producer Scott Rudin will “step back” from active involvement in his Broadway shows in response to allegations of abusive and bullying treatment of employees stretching back for years, Deadline has confirmed.

In a statement released this morning, Rudin said he was “profoundly sorry for the pain my behavior caused to individuals, directly and indirectly,” and that he would “step back from active participation on our Broadway productions, effective immediately.”

More from Deadline

Deadline has obtained the statement, initially released exclusively to The Washington Post. Read it in full below.

Among Rudin’s current Broadway productions are Aaron Sorkin’s hit adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, Ivo van Hove’s reimagining of West Side Story, the long-running The Book of Mormon and the upcoming The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster.

The shows, as with all Broadway productions, are currently suspended due to the Covid pandemic shutdown. Rudin’s statement did not indicate that he would officially resign or cease participation in his productions altogether.

Rudin’s workplace behavior and ill treatment of assistants dating back decades was recently brought to the fore in a Hollywood Reporter article, in which four former employees spoke of intimidation, bullying and, in at least one instance, physical violence during their times in the Rudin office.

In his first public statement to the press – despite repeated requests this week from Deadline and other publications – Rudin said in today’s three-paragraph email, “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.”

“After a period of reflection,” he continued, “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.

“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’s response follows what might now be viewed as the turning point in the Broadway community’s refusal to tolerate or stay silent on the mistreatment of employees by producers and other industry leaders: Earlier this week, as Deadline reported, Moulin Rouge! star Karen Olivo announced in a widely viewed Instagram video that she would not return to that production (which is not produced by Rudin) when Broadway reopens as a way of protesting the industry’s silence over Rudin’s behavior and other longtime injustices.

Also this week, three theatrical unions – SAG-AFTRA, Actors’ Equity Association and American Federation of Musicians Local 802 – issued a statement condemning harassment, bullying and toxic environments and pledging “to hold accountable those who violate human and legal norms of fair, respectful and dignified conduct in the workplace.” The statement did not specifically name Rudin, but the timing of its release left no doubt.

And this coming week, a grassroots “March on Broadway” protest is planned for Wednesday, April 21, beginning at Columbus Circle, then making stops at the Winter Garden Theater, home of the $17 million Music Man production, Actors’ Equity offices, and Rudin’s office. The announcement of the march has been shared on Instagram and other social media, though it’s unclear as of yet what impact Rudin’s statement will have on the plans.

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Rudin’s announcement did not address his film production work, including next month’s Netflix premiere of The Woman in the Window starring Amy Adams.

Here is Rudin’s statement in full:

“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.

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. I am now taking steps that I should have taken years ago to address this behavior.

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.”

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