Multiple people who formerly worked as assistants to Scott Rudin have come forward with allegations of abuse, intimidation, and vindictiveness against the theatre and film producer. The Hollywood Reporter detailed the accusations in a piece published April 7.
In addition to illustrating an overview of Rudin’s longstanding reputation as a bullying and unrelenting powerbroker, the article chronicles specific alleged instances of violence, including sending one assistant to the emergency room in 2012 after breaking a monitor screen on his hand. A number of issues arising during recent Broadway productions and the producer’s film projects are also mentioned.
Following The Hollywood Reporter’s release of the article, some industry members and those with similar stories have shared solidarity with those who spoke to the publication.
Stage and screen regular Anthony Rapp, who in 2017 came forward with allegations of sexual assault against Kevin Spacey—not long before his and countless others’ stories became collectively recognized as the global “#MeToo movement”—wrote that the reckoning that’s since unfolded “has to include addressing abuses beyond sexual crimes. I was wondering when, and whether, that would happen, and here we are with this long-overdue piece. I applaud the courageous souls who’ve come forward.”
Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize nominee Heidi Schreck echoed support to the individuals who spoke with Siegel. “Our industry needs to get its shit together,” the What the Constitution Means to Me playwright-performer added.
In the Hollywood Reporter piece, reporter Tatiana Siegel addresses the reason that such allegations hadn’t yet been publicly unearthed or documented, and by extension, why more industry members might be slow to speak out. “Bullying claims against Rudin never see the light of day and are settled quietly,” she writes, citing a legal source familiar with the matter. “Fear of reprisals has kept many from speaking out. Employees typically sign a non-disparagement agreement. And several sources for this piece consulted with an attorney before proceeding, even off the record.”
“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,” wrote Annapurna Pictures founder Megan Ellison, who produced the 2010 Coen brothers film True Grit with Rudin.
In the evening after the article went live, David Graham-Caso, a political communications director, published a Twitter thread about his brother Kevin, who he says worked for Rudin in 2008 and 2009. “I think Rudin’s abuse was undeniably a factor in the mental health issues Kevin suffered in the final years of his life,” Graham-Caso wrote, sharing that his brother took his own life last year.
“My brother never considered speaking out. He demonstrated exactly the paralyzing fear of a lack of support when standing up to a powerful executive that so frequently keeps people from standing up to abuse.”
Rudin has been an influential force within all facets of the industry beyond his own company—including theatre publications like Playbill (where business models often incorporate ticket and ad sales from Broadway productions), agencies like SpotCo (currently in litigation with the producer over unpaid labor on multiple productions), and city planning (Rudin is one of the lead organizers of New York City’s arts revitalization program, NY PopsUp).
His portfolio extends into the approaching Broadway reopening, with a revival of The Music Man slated to open in early 2022 and a future production of Our Town announced last year.
Representatives for Rudin have not commented on the allegations at the time of this publication.