Academy Award-winning producer Scott Rudin (“The Social Network,” “No Country for Old Men”) has a reputation for allegedly abusing people in the workplace.
In a lengthy expose in The Hollywood Reporter (THR), several of Rudin’s former staffers alleged that the producer, who already had a reputation for being hot-tempered, would regularly engage in verbally and physically abusive behavior in the office. One particularly nasty incident involved him allegedly smashing an Apple computer over an assistant’s hand, sending him to the emergency room.
“At about 4:15 p.m. — more than 10 hours into a typical Rudin day that began at 6 and never wrapped before 8 — the Oscar-winning producer was enraged that one of his assistants failed to get him a seat on a sold-out flight,” reported THR. “In a fit of fury, he allegedly smashed an Apple computer monitor on the assistant’s hand. The screen shattered, leaving the young man bleeding and in need of immediate medical attention. One person in the office at the time described the incident as sounding like a car crash: a cacophonous collision of metal, glass and limb. The wounded assistant headed to the emergency room, and Rudin called his lawyer, according to another staffer there that Halloween afternoon. Everyone else huddled in the conference room, shaken. No one stayed until 8 p.m., with most of the staff heading over to a Times Square bar for a therapeutic drink.”
The alleged victim declined to comment on the story, but several former staffers claimed to have witnessed the horrific event.
As THR noted, Rudin’s alleged abuse has apparently been known in Hollywood circles for several years, though no Weinstein-style reckoning has come:
For some four decades, Rudin’s abusive behavior has been chronicled — even celebrated — by the press. In a 2010 profile, this publication dubbed him “The Most Feared Man in Town” and called him “dazzlingly charming” one paragraph after describing acts of cruelty and intimidation. In a 2005 Wall Street Journal profile with the headline “Boss-zilla!,” Rudin himself pegged the number of assistants he burned through in the previous five years at 119.
But in October 2017, Harvey Weinstein was toppled from power following twin investigative reports in The New York Times and The New Yorker detailing his sexual predation, ushering in the entertainment industry’s #MeToo era. That reckoning has expanded in scope to include toxic behavior encompassing everything from racism to milder microaggressions. Talent and executives, including Sharon Osbourne at The Talk and three executive producers at The Ellen DeGeneres Show, have been kicked to the curb for bullying antics. Likewise, America’s Got Talent judge Gabrielle Union received a settlement from NBC in September after filing an employment complaint that alleged a “toxic culture,” which included fellow judge Simon Cowell smoking cigarettes on set and guest judge Jay Leno making a racist joke.
On top of his reportedly abusive behavior, Rudin would also allegedly retaliate against his former staffers by removing IMDB credits after they left his employment or bad-mouthing their reputations.
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