Scott Rudin

Mega-producer Scott Rudin is seemingly about to do something few Hollywood bigwigs have ever had to do: suffer consequences for his actions.

The Oscar-winning producer, whose credits include films like No Country For Old Men, There Will Be Blood, The Social NetworkUncut Gems, and many more, has announced that he is “stepping back” from his upcoming film and streaming projects after The Hollywood Reporter published a piece detailing his violent, abusive behavior toward multiple co-workers.

For years, it had been an open secret in Hollywood that Rudin was a bully to those who were lower on the industry totem pole. (He himself even proudly claimed in 2005 that he had churned through 119 assistants in the previous five years.) But after The Hollywood Reporter’s exposé was published earlier this month chronicling his abusive behavior (which detailed times he threw a stapler, a potato, a teacup, and a glass bowl at colleagues, and smashed one person’s hand with a computer monitor to such a degree that they required a trip to the hospital), there has been a vocal outcry for something to be done.

After that outcry grew to a volume that could not be ignored, Rudin announced over the weekend that he would be stepping back from producing Broadway productions like the Jeff Daniels-led To Kill a Mockingbird, the Hugh Jackman-led The Music Man, and a planned revival of West Side Story in an attempt to take “steps that [he] should have taken years ago to address this behavior.” But his statement was vague and the lackluster apology did not feel genuine enough to many observers, including David Graham-Caso, whose twin brother, Kevin, was one of Rudin’s former assistants and ended up taking his own life, partially because of the trauma he experienced while working for Rudin.

Today, Rudin announced he would be stepping back from his film and TV work as well. “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,” he 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.”

Indie production and distribution company A24 has severed their business ties with Rudin; he will no longer be involved with A24 releases like Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, Stephen Karam’s The Humans starring Steven Yeun, Alex Garland’s Men, and Lila Neugebauer’s Red, White, and Water starring Jennifer Lawrence.

The fact that an EGOT winner like Rudin is actually being forced to reckon with his bad behavior is a relatively new thing for Hollywood, and the extent to which he will actually reckon with it or suffer financially from it remains to be seen. I wondered if the fall of Harvey Weinstein would begin a domino effect throughout the industry during the Time’s Up era, but that has not happened – at least, not to the degree I thought it could. But Rudin being forced to step back from his lucrative projects is a sign that Hollywood is not content to let the old ways re-establish dominance quite yet.

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