After Scott Rudin’s bullying synopsis, there’s principally barbecue leisure

NEW YORK (AP) – How did Hollywood and Broadway react to an exposé describing routine abuse and bullying by producer Scott Rudin? Mostly with crickets.

The magazine spoke to four former employees who agreed to be on the file to tell stories about the toxic work environment, as well as some who asked to remain anonymous in fear of retaliation.

Rudin, one of the most successful and powerful producers with a load of Oscars and Tonys, has long been known for torturing an ever-changing parade of assistants – 119 over a five-year period, he once said. Such behavior has long been entrenched in show business – and sometimes even celebrated – and goes back to MGM boss Louis B. Mayer and, more recently, Broadway producer David Merrick.

“The thin-skinned people don’t like it,” Rudin told the Wall Street Journal in 2005. “The thick-skinned people … understand that I work as hard as they do.”

But if Hollywood has taken steps to reform after a #MeToo upheaval that began with sexual abuse allegations against another highly rewarded New York overproducer, Harvey Weinstein, the first reaction to The Hollywood Reporter’s story about Rudin suggests it Point out that the industry is less concerned with containing cultures of verbal abuse and toxicity in the workplace.

“I am amazed at what has happened over the past few years that have been so revolutionary, meaningful and important,” Anthony Rapp, who starred in Rent on Broadway and televised on Star Trek: Discovery, told The Associated Press on Friday. “It is not exactly controversial to say that abuse should not be tolerated. That’s the least anyone can do, and that almost no one has done it is sad and angry for me. “

No studio that has regularly done business with Rudin has commented on the article, nor has any of the A-list names Rudin helped make 150+ Academy Award nominations and 17 Tonys. Rudin himself did not respond to the article or the AP’s request for comment.

Not everyone was silent. The most prominent power gamer to speak up was Megan Ellison, founder of Annapurna Pictures, who was executive producer of Rudin-produced “True Grit” by Joel and Ethan Coen.

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

The 62-year-old Rudin is from Long Island and has made some of the most iconic films of the past few decades, including No Land For Old Men, The Social Network, The Truman Show, and Fences And The Grand Budapest hotel. “His Broadway hits include“ The Book of Mormon ”and“ To Kill a Mockingbird. ”In the past, he has defended his work environment as part of a tough business.

On Broadway, Rudin has a reputation for producing high profile and prestigious work, often starring her 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 days following the Hollywood Reporter story, many ordinary actors have voiced their frustration that the allegations have been largely silenced by these Broadway characters in positions of power – and therefore likely to be tapped again by Rudin one day.

“Often when you’re not like a super A-list star, job security isn’t always there for you,” said Rapp, who advocates the #MeToo movement and accuses Kevin Spacey of sexual assault. “So it’s understandable when people are afraid to stick their necks out. I mean, that’s how dictators always kept their power. “

Mauricio Martínez, a singer and actor who appeared in the Broadway musical “On Your Feet!” called the silence daunting, wondering if it was because the alleged victims were office assistants and not stars.

“It is not easy to come up and say that you have been molested. I think it’s very hypocritical to just turn one eye, ”he told the AP. “If we all re-examine the power structures and all inequalities, there are only a few things that we cannot activate and about which we cannot remain silent.”

Some of those who spoke out against Weinstein also denounced Rudin’s behavior. Rose McGowan, who said Weinstein raped her (a claim Weinstein has denied), said Rudin must “be stopped”.

“What’s the matter with you Hollywood?” said McGowan on Twitter. “You put your values ​​in our minds. Your value system is sick. Stop poisoning us. End the abuse of power now. “

Richard Rushfield, editor of the Hollywood newsletter The Ankler, notes that Hollywood will take action against someone “once they have lost all their power and status”. Rudin, who runs his company Scott Rudin Productions, cannot be fired.

“Will people refuse to see him? Will writers refuse to sell their scripts? I honestly doubt it, ”says Rushfield. “I wish they would. But you’re a struggling writer, and Scott Rudin will be producing your film. If Scott Rudin is producing, you have an above-average chance of becoming a nominee for Best Picture. Are you going to refuse? “

Bahr reported from Pittsburgh.

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