On a lively Halloween day in 2012, the thin facade of normalcy at Scott Rudin Productions broke literally

At around 4:15 p.m. – over 10 hours after a typical Rudin day that started at 6 a.m. and never ended before 8 a.m. – the Oscar-winning producer was furious that one of his assistants had failed to find a place for him on a sold-out flight In a fit of fury, he allegedly smashed an Apple computer screen on the assistant’s hand The screen shattered, leaving the young man bleeding and in need of immediate medical attention Someone in the office at the time described the incident as resembling a car crash: a cacophonous collision of metal, glass The injured assistant went to the emergency room and Rudin called his lawyer, according to another staff member there this Halloween afternoon Everyone huddled in the conference room, shaken No one stayed until 8 p.m., most of the staff heading to a Times Square bar for a therapeutic drink

“We were all shocked because we didn’t know this sort of thing could happen in this office,” says Andrew Coles, then assistant and now director and producer, whose credits include Queen & Slim “We knew that a lot could happen There were the guys sleeping in the office, the guys with their hair falling out and developing ulcers It was a very intense environment, but it was just different It was a new level of imbalance – a level of lack of control that I have never seen before in a workplace “Through a spokesperson, Rudin declined to comment on any of the specific allegations mentioned in this story The alleged victim declined to comment

For nearly four decades, Rudin’s abusive behavior has been reported – even celebrated – by the press In a 2010 profile, this publication dubbed him “the most feared man in town” and the called a paragraph “dazzling charming” after describing acts of cruelty and intimidation In a 2005 Wall Street Journal profile with the headline “Boss-zilla!” Rudin himself estimated the number of assistants he had burned at 119 over the past five years.

But in October 2017, Harvey Weinstein was removed from power following two investigative reports in The New York Times and The New Yorker detailing his sexual predation, ushering in the #MeToo era of the entertainment industry. This calculation broadened its scope to include toxic behavior encompassing everything from racism to milder microaggressions. Talents and executives including Sharon Osbourne of The Talk and three executive producers of The Ellen DeGeneres Show have been scrapped for bullying antics Likewise America’s Got Talent judge Gabrielle Union received a settlement from NBC in September after filing an employment complaint alleging a “toxic culture,” which included fellow judge Simon Cowell smoking cigarettes on set and guest judge Jay Leno making a racist joke

Still, there was no count for Rudin, 62, one of the industry’s most decorated producers, whose films have garnered 151 Oscar nominations and 23 wins, including Best. film for the 2007 Coen brothers drama No Country for Old Men It is even more successful on the theater front, having landed 17 individual Tony Awards His stage collaboration with Aaron Sorkin, To Kill a Mockingbird, has become the most successful ticket Broadway hit in 2018 In just one week that year, the drama grossed over $ 1.5million at the box office, breaking a 118-year-old record in the process

On May 14, Netflix will release Rudin’s latest production, The Woman in the Window Like most of its efforts, the film features top-notch talent, including star Amy Adams and director Joe Wright. As was the case with a lot of things involving Rudin, it was loaded with drama, sources say, with the producer taking the reins of Wright after the Fox 2000 thriller poorly tested, then hiring Tony Gilroy to write for the covers. In the end, according to the sources, he tested pretty much the same

Even though others were canceled or suppressed their aggression, Rudin’s behavior continued unabated, leaving a trail of exploded objects and traumatized employees in his path

Caroline Rugo expected a trying environment when she joined Scott Rudin Productions as Executive Coordinator in the fall of 2018 She accepted her days to begin at 5 a.m.m, filling out emails before showing up to the New York office at 6 a.m. As she lives with type 1 diabetes, Rugo had to spend 30 minutes a day exercising and provided a note of the doctor signed by Rudin who allowed him to train from 5:30 amm to 6 a.m. Even with a narrow margin for an outdoor life, she was eager to work for the super-producer behind The Social Network and The Book of Mormon on Broadway. What she hadn’t planned was the onslaught of intimidation

“He threw a laptop at the conference room window, then went into the kitchen and we heard him pounding on the towel dispenser,” said Rugo “Then another time he threw a glass bowl to [a coworker] It’s hard to tell if he threw it in the general direction or specifically at [the coworker], but the glass bowl hit the wall and crashed all over the place The person RH left in ambulance after panic attack It was the environment “

Several people corroborated the incident involving HR staff, who never returned, as well as the laptop and towel dispenser episode, which took place in early March 2019 during a meeting with a reporter from SpotCo, a major Broadway advertising agency The following year, SpotCo sued Rudin for $ 6.3 million for unpaid pre-pandemic work on eight shows, becoming the latest legal action against him that has spread in public view. active) In 2018, the Harper Lee estate sued Rudin, claiming that the Sorkin script altered the characters, setting, and legal process at the heart of his novel (The parties subsequently reached a settlement, details of which no. ‘have not been made public)

At around the same time as the SpotCo complaint, hot writer Jeremy O Harris called Rudin “very racist” on Twitter during another public break.The Slave Play playwright and Zola’s screenwriter continued: “He called me on the phone and cursed me once and said, ‘You are a baby playwright who wrote a good play, nobody cares what you have to say’ replied, ‘Why did you just pay me to say something in TWO pieces? ” “

Rudin’s temper tantrums have been well documented for four decades and are said to have at least partially inspired the 1994 wizard’s revenge fantasy film Swimming With Sharks Manchester by the Sea producer Kevin Walsh told THR in 2014 that Rudin asked Walsh to get out of his car and abandoned him on a motorway In the same article, producer Adam Goodman called the environment “really, really, really gnarly.” Others portray an atmosphere of worship, where once abused lieutenants take on the worst qualities of their boss (a former staff member says Rudin and a senior manager would throw away every item from an office manager’s desk for “no reason at all”) In a 2010 THR profile, Rudin downplayed his high turnover “Wonderfully successful people tend to end up pursuing very strong and illustrious careers, ”he says,“ and people who wash out tend not to be heard anymore.”(The Rudin diaspora includes such prestigious executives as producer Amy Pascal and Josh Greenstein, co-director of the Sony film group)

But with Hollywood re-examining its power structures and inequalities, Rudin’s aggressive behavior is suddenly out of step with an industry championing egalitarianism.Rudin’s recent aide said the mercurial producer threw a potato at him at the head oven in 2018 for not knowing why someone from independent distributor A24 was in the lobby

“I went into the kitchen and I was like, ‘Hey, Scott, the A24 is going up I don’t know what it is,” he said “And he got turned around, like, ‘Nobody told me the A24 was in my schedule’ He threw me at it, and I dodged a big potato He was like, ‘Well find out and give it me a new potato ‘”

Adding insult to injury, the assistant was fired by Rudin shortly after dropping out of college to join his full-time team

Ryan Nelson, who was Rudin’s executive assistant in 2018-19, says he suffered and witnessed so much abuse, including the producer throwing a stapler at a theater assistant and calling him ‘delay’ , that he has completely left the industry

“Every day was exhausting and horrible” he said “Not even the way he abused me, but looking at the way he abused people around me who started to be my very close friends You spend 14 hours a day with the same people, enduring the same abuse It has become this collective bond with these people “

Likewise, assistant Miguel Cortes became a bicycle mechanic for a year after leaving Scott Rudin Productions in 2019, feeling scarred by the experience and assuming all offices were functioning that way.

“There was definitely a distance you wanted to maintain when talking to Scott at all times,” he recalls “I’m a tall guy Like 6ft 3in, 6ft 4in I remember thinking: ‘Oh, well, I’m not intimidated by him He’s smaller than me’ But every time I sat down was when he came over and towered over me I remember thinking, ‘This is almost a gesture of genius, having me when I’m at my smallest ‘He would be right on top of me and literally screaming at me “

On Indeedcom, where Rudin posts for a constant stream of vacancies, an anonymous reviewer warned potential applicants to “Please run far, far” and claimed to have seen the producer “pull a chair from under the seat of an assistant to fire him could fall, “among other transgressions committed in front of the titan’s industrial partners

For Rugo, she was away six months after suffering a series of “soft guns” – a phenomenon unique to Rudin’s business that several sources have detailed An evicted employee waited in the Starbucks in the lobby Let Rudin cool off and allow the creepy subordinate to return Not This Time After Rudin was trapped in a feud between Nathan Lane and director George C Wolfe during the previews of his Tony-nominated play Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, Rugo says Rudin started blaming her for the situation He demanded she skip her at 5.30am gym visit or work faster She refused – and didn’t bother to wait in the Starbucks

“I was fired for suffering from type 1 diabetes, which is a federally protected disability,” says Rugo, who now works in development at Netflix “I could have sued him one hundred percent But I didn’t because of fear of being blacklisted But I’ve been working at Netflix for a year and a half now And it was such a shock to the system because it’s one of the places to most respectful and progressive work in terms of employee relations Now that I have established myself here and am part of a team where my opinions are respected and welcomed, I have no problem talking about Scott Everyone just knows he is an absolute freak “

Another assistant, who asked not to be named because he feared retaliation in his career, detailed a kitchen encounter with Rudin in 2018 that quickly evolved

“He asked me to clean the kitchen I told him: ‘It’s really not my job’ I had to do a bunch of other things that were urgent, ‘said the former assistant” The kitchen wasn’t rushed And then he turned around, and he took his cup of tea, threw it, and he broke and left a hole in the wall I was like, ‘I am a human It is a physical act of aggression ‘”

Since its inception, Hollywood has been prone to abuse of power Abusive behavior tends to be overlooked or taken into account when the dynamics of power imbalance are at their most extreme Nowhere is this more evident than in Scott Rudin Productions, where a conveyor belt of assistants – usually hungry recent NYU graduates who are vulnerable and ready to endure abuse – come in and out, providing the backbone of the prolific producer behind There Will Be Blood and Doubt, this latest for stage and screen, and TV’s What We Do in the Shadows and The Newsroom None of them are over 25

A former Rudin assistant said the producer enjoyed cruelty but was able to go from scolding staff to activating the spell as soon as the talent walked through the door

“When you feel his saliva on your face as he yells at you and says, ‘You’re worth nothing’, it obviously has an impact, and we are young,” the assistant says. “During his long career, there are hundreds and hundreds of people who have suffered And some have given up on their dreams because he made them feel and believe that they cannot do what they are trying to do. do “

Another staff member says Rudin deliberately disrupted people’s careers with lies around the time Rudin achieved EGOT status in 2012 – becoming one of 16 people living or dead to win a Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony – he got angry when one of his subordinates left to work at The Weinstein Co According to multiple sources, Rudin emailed Harvey Weinstein and insisted on the fact that she stole from him (Weinstein did not listen and continued to employ him She continues to work in the industry to this day)

“It was a big, big moment,” says another staff member of the mistreatment of his colleague. “It literally changed everyone who was there at the time for the sake of having something to do with him never again All the employees realized this is what we had to expect, having been slaves, being attacked so much, maligned in a really weird way There has been occasional disregard for human rights “

Rudin’s anger wasn’t just aimed at employees He clashed privately with director Sam Mendes and pulled out a New York Times ad berating a Times theater writer His emails – which became fodder for the general public after the Sony hack when it called Angelina Jolie a “spoiled brat with minimal talent” and made callous racist jokes about President Barack Obama, saying that he probably liked Kevin Hart – are often scathing, says an assistant who knew about them During an exchange with fellow EGOT Whoopi Goldberg, he lambasted her for wanting to play a part in To Kill a Mockingbird instead of another project produced by Rudin, the film adaptation of Aleshea Harris’ acclaimed play Is God Is He called her an idiot, said she would never work in anything big again, and wished her luck on The View Goldberg a declined to comment

Rudin continues to work with the best in cinema His next projects include The Tragedy of Macbeth by Joel Coen, with Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand, and Red, White and Water by Jennifer Lawrence, both for A24 New York-based distributor says he doesn’t have a formal first-look deal with Rudin even though he often does business with him

According to knowledgeable legal source, allegations of bullying against Rudin never see the light and are settled quietly Fear of retaliation has kept many from speaking out Employees usually sign non-bashing agreement And multiple sources for this article consulted a lawyer before continuing, even unofficially

Rudin is also known to change credits, both as an inducement and punishment Several sources claim that the victim of the computer monitor incident received three associates producing credits in addition to a monetary settlement Others saw the flip side of Rudin’s coin

“When they finally quit – which they always do at some point – he retaliates on IMDb and takes away any credits they’ve been able to accumulate working for him,” says a producer who has hired a traumatized assistant following a visit to Rudin and saw the practice unfold

Coles is hopeful that Rudin’s fear of power doesn’t prevent advancements in the industry just as Hollywood looks set to face abuse of power

“Part of the change we want to see in the industry is to start talking openly about these things, naming names, talking about what really happened and you don’t get a let- go free to abuse people “, he says” I’m not afraid of Scott Rudin “

A version of this story first appeared in the April 7 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to subscribe

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Scott Rudin

World news – US – “Everyone knows he’s an absolute monster”: Former Scott Rudin staff denounce abusive behavior

Source: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/everyone-just-knows-hes-an-absolute-monster-scott-rudins-ex-staffers-speak-out-on-abusive-behavior