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Nearly two weeks after The Hollywood Reporter published a cover story detailing Scott Rudin’s history of alleged abuse, the uber-producer released a statement that he is stepping back from a number of his upcoming films, according to reports by Variety and Deadline Hollywood.
An A24 source told The Hollywood Reporter that Rudin is no longer involved in its Jennifer Lawrence film Red, White and Water and Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand.
“When I commented over the weekend, I was focused on Broadway reopening successfully and not wanting my previous behavior to detract from everyone’s efforts to return,” Rudin said. “It’s clear to me I should take the same path in film and streaming. I am profoundly sorry for the pain my behavior has caused and I take this step with a commitment to grow and change.”
It was unclear from Rudin’s statement which films are affected and what taking “the same path in film and streaming” means. New York-based A24 is the distributor deepest in business with Rudin with several collaborations on the horizon. Rudin also was producing the Steven Yeun-led domestic drama The Humans and Alex Garland’s Men, both at A24. The A24 source added that Rudin is no longer involved with either of those films.
Rudin’s presence in the film industry cannot be understated. He won the best picture Oscar in 2007 for No Country for Old Men and is a regular on the awards circuit with such culturally relevant films as The Social Network and There Will Be Blood.
Currently, he has a number of movies on the horizon including next month’s Amy Adams starrer The Woman in the Window for Netflix. THR has reached out to Rudin and Netflix for comment.
The move comes in the wake of several weekend developments, namely Rudin responding to the allegations of misconduct and physical abuse by giving The Washington Post a statement about his “history of troubling interactions with colleagues.”
In the statement, Rudin added, “I am profoundly sorry for the pain my behavior caused to individuals, directly and indirectly” and said he has “made the decision to step back from active participation on our Broadway productions, effective immediately.”
Though he didn’t name the stage productions, he has several ready to bow or return when Broadway reopens after a debilitating year-plus shutdown including the Hugh Jackman-Sutton Foster starrer The Music Man, his latest Aaron Sorkin collaboration To Kill a Mockingbird, and a West Side Story revival.
On Sunday, Foster broke her silence about Rudin during an Instagram Live conversation with fellow performer Beth Nicely, where she expressed relief that Rudin was stepping back. “I feel like the only positive outcome is the one that happened,” she said. A source told THR that Foster promised to leave the highly anticipated musical if Rudin didn’t exit.
In the April 7 Hollywood Reporter story, several of Rudin’s ex-staffers chronicled his abusive behavior, which included throwing items at underlings in the New York office including a glass bowl, a baked potato, a teacup and a stapler. Also chronicled in the story, at least two staffers wound up in the hospital, one as a result of Rudin smashing a computer monitor on a young man’s hand.
In the immediate aftermath of the Hollywood Reporter story’s publication, Hollywood remained relatively mum about the industry titan, with exception of Annapurna Pictures founder Megan Ellison and Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp, who tweeted their disgust of Rudin’s behavior. Likewise, Moulin Rouge! star Karen Olivo called out the Broadway community when it comes to Rudin. The Tony winner vowed not to return to Moulin Rouge! in protest against the silence around Rudin, which she called “unacceptable” and dubbed him “a monster.”
Music Man became something of a bellwether. Sources say there was a sentiment of “apathy” about the Rudin revelations among many of the play’s decision-makers. But pressure has continued to mount, with performers’ unions SAG-AFTRA, Actors Equity and the American Federation of Musicians Local 802 condemning toxic work environments.
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