Ten days after the Hollywood Reporter accused Broadway producer Scott Rudin of being an abusive boss in an April 7 cover story, Rudin has responded to the allegations with an apology and a promise to “step back” from his stage productions, the Washington Post reported on Saturday. In a three-paragraph statement, his first public comment on the matter, Rudin wrote, “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.”
Rudin, who was accused of throwing things at his employees ranging from a glass bowl to a baked potato, went on to write that he had “made the decision to step back from active participation on our Broadway productions, effective immediately.” The beleaguered producer did not elaborate on what that meant in practical terms or whether or not his production company would also be stepping back, but he did write that his 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.” When Broadway shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rudin had three shows in production: The Book of Mormon, To Kill a Mockingbird, and West Side Story. Rudin wrote that he was taking this action because he did not want controversy over his workplace behavior to interfere with Broadway’s long-awaited reopening.
Despite Rudin’s statement, there really hasn’t been all that much controversy. In the immediate aftermath of the Hollywood Reporter story, very few of the A-list talent Rudin has worked with spoke out about his behavior or vowed to stop working with him. One of the exceptions was Tony-award-winning actress Karen Olivo, who announced that she would not be returning to the production of Moulin Rouge—which Rudin did not produce—because she was horrified by the Broadway establishment’s unwillingness to cut ties with Rudin. “That’s the easy one, y’all,” she said. “That’s a monster. That should be a no-brainer.”
In response to Rudin’s apology, theatrical union Actors’ Equity called for him to release his current and former staff from any nondisclosure agreements they may have signed with him or his production company. The Hollywood Reporter story alleged that Rudin used NDAs, along with cash settlements and production credits, to keep the lid on stories of his bad behavior. Meanwhile, David Graham-Caso, whose twin brother Kevin was one of Rudin’s assistants, released a video statement calling Rudin’s apology “a shrewd PR strategy to avoid real consequences.” Graham-Caso alleges that Rudin’s abuse was a contributing factor in his brother’s suicide.
Rudin is also a film producer, but his statement did not address his movie projects. Netflix will release Rudin’s next feature, The Woman in the Window, on May 14.