Broadway Producer Scott Rudin Will 'Step Back' Over Abuse Allegations

The powerful producer faces accusations of abuse and intimidation going back decades.

Producer Scott Rudin will “step back” from Broadway, following a series of allegations that he was abusive in the workplace over the course of decades, he told The Washington Post.

Rudin apologized for the “pain” he has caused and said he would be “taking steps that I should have taken years ago to address this behavior.”

“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,” the producer of Broadway’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Book of Mormon” said in a statement.

He noted that he will step back from “active participation” on Broadway productions, and that his roles will be filled by “others from the Broadway community.”

His statement did not mention his film projects, such as the upcoming psychological thriller “The Woman in the Window,” which is set to release to Netflix next month, the Post reported.

Producers Ethan Coen, Scott Rudin and Joel Coen pose in the press room during the 80th Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in February 2008 in Los Angeles.
Producers Ethan Coen, Scott Rudin and Joel Coen pose in the press room during the 80th Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in February 2008 in Los Angeles.
Steve Granitz via Getty Images

Earlier this month, The Hollywood Reporter published an article detailing allegations of Rudin’s long-standing abusive workplace behavior. The report cited both unnamed sources and sources who spoke on the record about what they described as Rudin’s nightmarish behavior toward employees.

In one incident in 2012, staffers say the award-winning producer allegedly smashed a computer monitor on an assistant’s hand, sending them to the emergency room, over a failed effort to get Rudin a seat on a sold-out flight.

Andrew Coles, a film producer and former staffer at Scott Rudin Productions, told the publication that he and other staffers at the time were “all shocked” over the incident, describing it as “unhinged.”

“We knew a lot could happen,” he said. “There were the guys that were sleeping in the office, the guys whose hair was falling out and were developing ulcers. It was a very intense environment, but that just felt different. It was a new level of unhinged — a level of lack of control that I had never seen before in a workplace.”

Rudin declined to comment to THR on the specifics of the allegations mentioned in the article.

The report highlighted a list of other allegations of intimidation and abuse, including those from a former employee, Caroline Rugo, who alleged that Rudin once threw a laptop at a window and, another time, threw a glass bowl at a colleague.

“The HR person left in an ambulance due to a panic attack,” she told THR. “That was the environment.”

Ryan Nelson, Rudin’s executive assistant from 2018 to 2019, told the publication that the producer once allegedly threw a stapler at a theater assistant and called him a “retard.”

“Every day was exhausting and horrific,” he said.

Rudin has produced a host of award-winning films like “No Country for Old Men,” “Ex Machina” and “The Social Network.” He has reached EGOT status, winning a Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards.

In the THR report, former staffers accused Rudin of using his power and influence on Broadway and in Hollywood to attempt to disrupt people’s careers in retaliation for leaving his production company.

Megan Ellison, the CEO of Annapurna, tweeted about Rudin’s behavior after the THR piece published, as actors and others in the film and theater industries called for Rudin to be held accountable.

“This piece barely scratches the surface of Scott Rudin’s abusive, racist, and sexist behavior,” she tweeted. “Similarly to Harvey [Weinstein], too many are afraid to speak out. I support and applaud those who did. There’s good reason to be afraid because he’s vindictive and has no qualms about lying.”

Actors’ Equity Association, a national labor union representing actors and stage managers in live theater, said in a statement on Saturday that the union has had private conversations with its “sibling unions and the Broadway League” since reports of Rudin’s alleged abuse emerged earlier this month.

“We salute the courage of those who came forward,” the labor union’s president Kate Shindle and its executive director Mary McColl said. “We hope that Scott Rudin will also release his staff from any nondisclosure agreements they may have signed as a condition of employment.”

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