The Hollywood Reporter Has Published An Exposé On Producer Scott Rudin’s Allegedly Abusive Boss Ways
There have been rumors and whispers of megaproducer Scott Rudin’s asshole reputation for years. And sometimes, we even got a little piece of evidence that would seem to confirm that yeah, Scott Rudin is probably an asshole. Well, The Hollywood Reporter decided to fully establish Scott’s alleged reputation once and for all, by publishing an exposé, featuring stories, claims, and allegations from several former employees. The good news for Scott is that this exposé will likely not lead to him going to prison like Harvey Weinstein. The bad news is, pretty much everyone now knows that Scott Rudin is the Hollywood boss from Hell.
THR opens their exposé with a story about how 62-year-old Scott Rudin, EGOT recipient and producer of such hits as Clueless, Zoolander, No Country for Old Men, and pretty much every Wes Anderson film, allegedly went full psycho one day in 2012 at Scott Rudin Productions. Scott created a month’s worth of work for Scott Rudin Productions’ HR department when Scott allegedly smashed an Apple computer monitor on one of his assistant’s hands after the assistant failed to get him a seat on a sold-out flight. The assistant ended up in the ER.
Employees also alleged that Scott made employees come in at the break of dawn and work 14 hour days. One former employee, Caroline Rugo, claims that she had to start work every day at 5 am and that she had a note from her doctor saying that, due to her Type 1 diabetes diagnosis, she needed at least 30 minutes of exercise during the day. The only time Scott would allegedly allow her to do so was from 5:30 am to 6:00 am. Once she got back to work, she had this kind of stressful BS to deal with:
“He threw a laptop at the window in the conference room and then went into the kitchen and we could hear him beating on the napkin dispenser,” says Rugo. “Then another time he threw a glass bowl at [a colleague]. It’s hard to say if he threw it in the general direction or specifically at [the colleague], but the glass bowl hit the wall and smashed everywhere. The HR person left in an ambulance due to a panic attack. That was the environment.”
Several former employees corroborated both of Caroline’s stories. Caroline was later fired after she allegedly refused to skip her 5:30 am workout at Scott’s request (Scott reportedly demanded she “work harder“).
Writer Jeremy O. Harris, who is Black, and has previously called Scott Rudin “loudly racist” on Twitter, tells THR that he had experienced verbal abuse from Scott during a phone call.
“He called me on the phone and cussed me out once and said ‘You’re a baby playwright who has written one good play no one gives a FUCK what you have to say’ To which I responded, ‘Why did you just pay me to say something in TWO plays?'”
A former executive assistant named Ryan Nelson, who worked for Scott from 2018 to 2019, claims he has seen Scott throw a stapler at a theater assistant and call said theater assistant the r-word. By the way Ryan tells it, working at Scott Rudin Productions sounded less like a job, and more like a hostage situation.
“Every day was exhausting and horrific. Not even the way he abused me, but watching the way he abused the people around me who started to become my very close friends. You’re spending 14 hours a day with the same people, enduring the same abuse. It became this collective bond with these people.”
There’s a whole lot of stories about Scott Rudin throwing computers, office equipment, decorative accessories, and various kitchen items, which might make one think they were safe so long as there was nothing metal or glass within Scott’s reach. But no, Scott could also allegedly be found throwing soft foods:
One recent Rudin assistant says the mercurial producer threw a baked potato at his head in 2018 for not knowing why someone from indie distributor A24 was in the lobby.
“I went into the kitchen, and I was like, ‘Hey, Scott, A24 is on the way up. I’m not sure what it’s concerning,'” he says. “And he flipped out, like, ‘Nobody told me A24 was on my schedule.’ He threw it at me, and I dodged a big potato. He was like, ‘Well, find out, and get me a new potato.'”
That assistant was later fired by Scott Rudin (that same assistant had reportedly dropped out of college to join Scott Rudin Productions full-time).
The Hollywood Reporter guesses that Scott was able to skate away from any real accountability because he was so successful. During his career, his films have received 151 Oscar nominations and 23 wins. He’s also won 17 Tony awards for various plays he’s produced. And also, because people have kind of tolerated, or even sort of celebrated, his reputation for being a dick. Or just the fact that abuse of power has been tolerated for so long in Hollywood. For example, THR notes that back in 2010, they called him “The most feared man in town,” and in 2005, The Wall Street Journal called him, “Boss-zilla.” Scott Rudin himself told the WSJ in the same piece that he estimates he went through 119 assistants from 2000 to 2005.
And even after assistants would escape Scott’s terror, he’d still find ways to fuck with them, like allegedly lying about their work history, or pretending they didn’t exist at Scott Rudin Productions:
Around 2012, [Scott] became enraged when one of his female underlings left to work at The Weinstein Co. According to multiple sources, Rudin emailed Harvey Weinstein and insisted that she had stolen from him.
“When they ultimately quit – which they always do at some point – he vindictively goes on IMDb and takes away any credits they may have amassed while working for him,” says one producer who hired a traumatized assistant following a Rudin stint and saw the practice play out.
As for why no assistants came forward or filed legal action against Scott Rudin, a legal source tells THR it’s because complaints were often quickly swept under the rug quietly with settlement money.
Scott Rudin hasn’t responded to aaaaaaaaall the claims made against him in The Hollywood Reporter’s piece. If all those allegations are true, and honestly, they sound like they are very, very much 100% accurate, then I’m sure that when Scott Rudin does have something to say about it, it will be a measured, calm response. It definitely won’t involve him screaming, “Me? An abusive, violent, nightmare of a boss?! I was very generous and kind! One time I even treated an assistant to a free baked potato lunch!”