In The Know

Broadway theater producer to ‘step back’ after allegations of violent outbursts

Getty Images

Award-winning Broadway and Hollywood producer Scott Rudin on Saturday announced that he planned to “step back” from his theater work following renewed backlash over allegations of bullying and abusive behavior spanning decades. 

In a statement first shared with The Washington Post, Rudin, who produced Broadway hits such as “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Book of Mormon,” said, “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,” the 62-year-old added. 

The producer, who in the past has been characterized as “The Most Feared Man in Town,” has received increased scrutiny in recent weeks after The Hollywood Reporter published an article earlier this month detailing some four decades of alleged abusive behavior. 

In one instance in 2012, Rudin allegedly smashed an Apple computer monitor on an assistant’s hand after he was unable to get him a seat on a sold-out flight, causing the wounded assistant to be taken to the emergency room. 

Other former employees of Rudin, who also produced Oscar-winning films such as “No Country for Old Men,” recounted additional alleged instances of erratic and violent behavior. 

Ryan Nelson, who worked as Rudin’s executive assistant from 2018 to 2019, said he left the entertainment industry altogether after he witnessed multiple instances of mistreatment, including once when the producer allegedly threw a stapler at a theater assistant. 

On Saturday, Rudin in his statement said he was “profoundly sorry for the pain my behavior caused to individuals, directly and indirectly.” 

“Much has been written about my history of troubling interactions with colleagues,” he wrote, adding he is “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,” he continued. “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.”

The Post reported that Rudin declined to elaborate on what stepping away from “active participation” would entail, and it was not immediately clear if the move will also apply to his film projects. 

The Hollywood Reporter article prompted backlash from members of the theater and film industry, with performers’ unions SAG-AFTRA, Actors Equity and the American Federation of Musicians Local 802 joining together to condemn harassment and toxic workplace culture. 

Tony Award winner Karen Olivo also announced this week that she would not be returning to her starring role in the Broadway production of “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” after the shutdown spurred by the coronavirus pandemic was lifted. 

While Rudin is not directly involved in the show, Olivo cited “silence about Scott Rudin” that she said was “unacceptable” as the reason behind her decision. 

Tags abuse allegations Broadway Bullying Hollywood New York City Oscars producer The Hollywood Reporter The Washington Post

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video