Hollywood, Broadway Respond to Exposé Detailing Abuse and…

by akoloy

NEW YORK (AP) — How have Hollywood and Broadway responded to an exposé detailing routine abuse and bullying by producer Scott Rudin? Mostly, with crickets.

The Hollywood Reporter’s cover story Wednesday on Rudin was, undoubtedly, a must-read for anybody within the movie, tv and theater companies. Stories a couple of Hollywood heavyweight throwing glass bowls, staples and baked potatoes at underlings are laborious to place down.

The commerce publication spoke to 4 former staff who agreed to be named on the document to element tales in regards to the poisonous work surroundings, along with some who requested to stay nameless for worry of retribution. One former worker describes how Rudin was irate after an assistant couldn’t get him a seat on a sold-out flight. He allegedly smashed a pc monitor down on the assistant’s hand laborious sufficient to ship the assistant to the hospital. Another described a glass bowl being thrown close to an worker, prompting a panic assault from a human sources staffer. A former govt coordinator alleges she was fired for having Type 1 Diabetes, and didn’t sue for worry of being blacklisted.

(L-R) Producer Dana Brunetti, Sony Picture’s Amy Pascal, producers Scott Rudin, Michael De Luca and author Aaron Sorkin pose at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s “The Social Network” Blu-ray & DVD launch social gathering at Spago on January 6, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Rudin, one of the crucial profitable and highly effective producers, with a heap of Oscars and Tonys to indicate for it, has lengthy been identified for torturous therapy of an ever-churning parade of assistants — 119 in a five-year span, he once said. Such habits has lengthy been engrained — and generally even celebrated — in present enterprise going again to the likes of MGM head Louis B. Mayer and, extra lately, Broadway producer David Merrick. The overbearing, pugnacious producer is a sort, one which Rudin, in keeping with this report and others, epitomizes. For some, surviving Rudin seems to be a ceremony of passage — an intensely demanding crucible that has been a coaching floor for a number of the enterprise’s high executives.

“The thin-skinned guys don’t like it,” Rudin informed The Wall Street Journal in 2005. “The thick-skinned people… understand that I’m working as hard as them.”

But if Hollywood has taken steps to reform following a #MeToo upheaval that started with sexual abuse allegations in opposition to one other much-rewarded New York uber-producer, Harvey Weinstein, the preliminary response to The Hollywood Reporter’s story on Rudin suggests the trade is much less desperate to curb cultures of verbal abuse and office toxicity.

“I’m astonished given what’s happened in the last few years that have been so revolutionary and meaningful and important,” Anthony Rapp, who starred in “Rent” on Broadway and in “Star Trek: Discovery” on TV, informed The Associated Press on Friday. “It’s not exactly controversial to say that abuse shouldn’t be tolerated. That’s like the least someone can do, and that almost no one has done it is sad and infuriating to me.”

No studio that has repeatedly performed enterprise with Rudin has commented on the article, nor have any of the A-list names that Rudin has helped propel to greater than 150 Oscar nominations and 17 Tonys. On Thursday, his newest movie — the anticipated Netflix adaptation of “The Woman in the Window”— went ahead with a digital trailer launch attended by the movie’s starry forged, together with Amy Adams, Anthony Mackie, Julianne Moore and Wyatt Russell. Rudin, himself, hasn’t responded to the article or the AP’s request for remark.

Not everybody was been quiet. The most outstanding energy participant to lift her voice was Megan Ellison, the Annapurna Pictures founder who was govt producer on the Rudin-produced “True Grit,” by Joel and Ethan Coen. In 2014, hackers struck Sony Pictures and launched confidential paperwork and emails. One of the emails concerned a dispute over the “Steve Jobs” movie and captured Rudin calling Ellison “a bipolar 28-year-old lunatic.”

“This piece barely scratches the surface of Scott Rudin’s abusive, racist, and sexist behavior,” Ellison mentioned on Twitter. “Similarly to Harvey, too many are afraid to speak out. I support and applaud those who did.”

Producer Scott Rudin (C) poses with Directors Ethan Coen (L) and Joel Coen, winners of the Best Motion Picture Of The Year award for “No Country for Old Men” pose within the press room throughout the eightieth Annual Academy Awards held on the Kodak Theatre on February 24, 2008 in Hollywood, California. (Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

The Sony hack also additionally revealed an e-mail change between Rudin and then-Sony Pictures chief govt Amy Pascal by which he joked about then-President Barack Obama’s style in motion pictures, referencing “12 Years a Slave” and Kevin Hart tasks. At the time, Rudin apologized for remarks that he acknowledged had been “thoughtless and insensitive — and not funny at all.”

The 62-year-old Rudin, a Long Island native, has produced a number of the most acclaimed movies of the previous couple of a long time, together with “No Country for Old Men,” “The Social Network,” “The Truman Show,” “Fences” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” His Broadway hits embody “The Book of Mormon” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” In the previous, he’s defended his office surroundings as a part of a troublesome enterprise.

On Broadway, Rudin has a popularity for producing high-profile and prestigious works and infrequently stocking them with A-list celebrities like Sally Field, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Nathan Lane, Jeff Daniels, Jim Parsons, Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Daniel Craig and Denzel Washington.

In the times after the Hollywood Reporter story, many rank-and-file actors have expressed frustration that the allegations have been largely met with silence by these Broadway figures in positions of energy — and due to this fact prone to be tapped by Rudin sooner or later once more.

“A lot of times, unless you’re like a super A-list star, job security is not something you can feel is always there for you,” mentioned Rapp, who has championed the #MeToo motion and accused Kevin Spacey of sexual assaults. “So it’s understandable if people are afraid of sticking their necks out. I mean, that is how dictators have always maintained their power.”

Rudin is a really hands-on theater producer, exhibiting up repeatedly at usually tedious present rehearsals and monitoring each facet of a manufacturing. His mercurial aspect was well-known within the theater group. He has been identified to fireplace a public relations company in the midst of a present’s rollout or shut down a manufacturing if every little thing was not good, as he did when Audra McDonald took maternity go away from “Shuffle Along.” The present was closed regardless that it was promoting almost 1,000,000 {dollars} in tickets every week.

In 2013, he introduced he would shut “The Testament of Mary” on the identical day it was nominated for a greatest play Tony Award, citing poor ticket gross sales. He then took out an advert in The New York Times to needle the newspaper’s theater reporter, who had explored that cancellation. “One day perhaps you’ll learn something about how Broadway works, and maybe even understand it,” it mentioned.

Mauricio Martínez, a singer-actor who was within the Broadway musical “On Your Feet!” known as the silence disheartening and questioned if it was as a result of the alleged victims had been workplace assistants and never stars.

“It’s not an easy thing to do to come forward and say that you’ve been abused. So to just turn a blind eye, I think is very hypocritical,” he informed the AP. “When we’re all reexamining the power structures and all the inequities, there’s just some things that we cannot enable and stay silent about.”

Some of those that spoke out in opposition to Weinstein have additionally denounced Rudin’s habits. Rose McGowan, who has mentioned Weinstein raped her (an allegation Weinstein has denied) mentioned Rudin “must be stopped.”

“What is wrong with you Hollywood?” mentioned McGowan on Twitter. “You are putting your values in our minds. Your value system is sick. Stop poisoning us. End power abuse now.”

In latest years, assistants within the movie trade, emboldened by the #MeToo motion, have extra aggressively defended their rights. Last 12 months, #PayUpHollywood circulated on-line as a survey to gauge working situations for Hollywood assistants. In January, the survey of greater than 1,000 Hollywood assistants and different help staffers, discovered that 78% mentioned working situations have led to a rise in nervousness; half cited a rise in melancholy.

Following the Rudin report, tv author Liz Hsiao Lan Alper, co-founder of #PayUpHollywood, known as on third-party reporting and unbiased human-resource investigations for instances like Rudin.

“Hollywood has a dehumanization problem with assistants. It is not an issue limited to Scott Rudin,” Alper mentioned on Twitter. “We all have stories. Many of us have emotional scars, some physical. Assistants are people.”

Richard Rushfield, editor of the Hollywood e-newsletter The Ankler, notes that Hollywood will spring into motion in opposition to somebody “the moment they’ve lost all their power and status.” Rudin, who runs his firm Scott Rudin Productions, can’t be fired.

“Are people going to refuse to take meetings with him? Are writers going to refuse to sell their scripts? I doubt it, frankly,” says Rushfield. “I wish they would. But you’re a struggling writer and Scott Rudin is going to produce your movie, and with Scott Rudin producing you have a better than average chance of being a best picture nominee. You’re going to say no to that?”

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