As the majority of Hollywood keeps relatively silent regarding the abuse allegations against producer Scott Rudin, actor Hugh Jackman has become the first A-list level talent to publicly rebuke him.
In an all-caps statement shared by New York Times theater reporter Michael Paulson, Jackman praised the staffers who told The Hollywood Reporter (THR) about Rudin’s decades of alleged abuse, saying it took tremendous courage.
“I want to say how much I respect and applaud the people that have spoken up about their experience working with Scott Rudin,” Jackman said.
“It takes an enormous amount of courage and strength to stand up and state your truth. This has started a conversation that is long overdue, not just on Broadway, and the entertainment industry, but across all workforce,” he continued. “The most important voice we needed to hear from was Scott Rudin, he has now spoken up and stepped away from ‘The Music Man.’ I hope and pray this is a journey of healing for all the victims and the community.”
— Michael Paulson (@MichaelPaulson) April 21, 2021
As of this writing, Hugh Jackman is the only A-list talent who worked with Rudin to publicly distance himself from the producer. Aaron Sorkin, the Coen Brothers, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Wes Anderson — all of whom worked on multiple projects with Rudin — have yet to issue a statement.
In a lengthy expose for 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.
In a statement released on Saturday, Rudin said that he will be stepping away from his role in current Broadway productions as he takes “certain steps” to address his behavior.
“After a period of reflection, I’ve made the decision to step back from active participation on our Broadway productions, effective immediately. My 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,” Rudin said.
“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. I am now taking steps that I should have taken years ago to address this behavior,” he added.
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