The ramifications of Scott Rudin’s Broadway resignation could be immense – Deadline

The Broadway League has confirmed that producer Scott Rudin has stepped down from its ranks, a move that could have colossal ramifications on the Broadway landscape now and for the foreseeable future.

Without membership in the League, Rudin, it seems, essentially became a non-union producer and as such would almost certainly not be able to make deals with other theater unions such as the Actors’ Equity Association. The exact implications for Rudin’s current productions – major critical and / or commercial hits, including Kill a Mockingbird, The Book of Mormon, West Side Story and not yet open The man of music with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster – are unclear, as are other ripple effects of this most unusual, possibly unprecedented development.

Scott Rudin to resign from Broadway League Trade Association

For its impact on Broadway, Rudin’s resignation from the League is by far the most significant development in the producer’s rapid downfall since the publication several weeks ago of a Hollywood Reporter article giving voice to former aides. who described decades of physical violence, bullying, and a whole toxic work environment.

Jeff Daniels, Gbenga Akinnagbe, “To Kill A Mockingbird” (original cast)
Julieta Cervantes

Rumors quickly began to circulate that stars like Foster were threatening to walk in unless Rudin stepped down, and she and her teammate Jackman quickly issued public statements supporting the producer’s announced decision to withdraw from his Broadway productions. .

Actors’ Equity recently called on Rudin to release all employees from NDAs, and this week began to publicly lobby the League to take action or at least address the most prominent member of the trade organization. The League has yet to comment on the situation, but has confirmed to Deadline the news of Rudin’s resignation, first reported today in The New York Times.

The implications of Rudin’s resignation from the Broadway League could be staggering for the industry, especially when it comes to long-standing traditions of browbeating, scolding and intimidation in the name of artistic temperament. Few would expect Rudin to be the lone or final target of condemnation.

For Rudin himself, today’s resignation will be heartbreaking to say the least. Without the League membership, Rudin would appear to be primarily a non-union producer, and Actors’ Equity does not work with non-union producers. Will Rudin sell his involvement in his four existing shows or will he seek a path that is anything but paved? Will he continue to reap the fruits of his productions? The details remain sketchy, the vague and often repeated variations of “stepping back” or “walking away” do little to clarify matters.

Although his productions are, more often than not, financially unprofitable – a result, many in the industry agree, on big marketing budgets and star-studded salaries – they are often Tony-generating machines and conferring prestige, almost. still beautifully rendered and even, in cases like Taylor Mac’s 2019 play Gary, a sequel to Titus Andronicus with Nathan Lane or Ivo van Hove’s 2020 Multimedia Reimagination of West Side Story, bold, certainly by Broadway standards.

Since 1994, Rudin has garnered 47 Tony Award nominations and 17 victories – and that’s just for the Best Play, Musical and Revival categories, and doesn’t include the very many artists and creative teams who have been nominated or won for Rudin productions. Inheritance, Matthew Lopez’s sprawling AIDS drama inspired by Howards End, Rudin is in the running for a 2020 Tony Award, whenever those long postponed trophies are announced (West Side Story had already opened when it closed but not in time for Tony 2020 eligibility.)

In a written statement to The Times, Rudin said he hoped the productions would work before the industry-wide pandemic stopped – Mockingbird, Mormon and West Side Story – would reopen. “Other producers will replace me on these shows, and they will have decision-making responsibilities that were mine until now,” he said. Rudin did not consider whether he would continue to benefit financially from the shows.

Although the League confirmed to Deadline that Rudin had resigned from its ranks, they referred all other questions about the producer’s future to Rudin’s office.

Deadline has reached out to Actors’ Equity and Rudin to comment on today’s developments.

Walk on Broadway
Courtesy of Laura Heywood / Instagram

A popular march in Midtown Manhattan on Thursday drew around 350 protesters, with activists’ main demand being a call to oust Rudin from the Broadway League or, instead, a large financial donation from Rudin to Operation BIPOC. . theaters.

In the statement to The Times, Rudin said: “I know that apologizing is never enough. By taking a step back, I intend to work on my issues and do so fully aware that many will think it is too little and too late. “

Rudin had previously stated that he would “retire” from his active participation in all of his Broadway productions, the upcoming tour of Kill a mockingbird, New York State’s NY PopsUp Summer Festival as well as film and streaming projects.

In addition to his current line-up, Rudin had previously announced various Broadway productions in development, including a revival of Our city with Dustin Hoffman, The piano lesson with Samuel L. Jackson and Death of a seller with Nathan Lane. Rudin’s departure from the League calls into question the viability – if not the possibility – of a Broadway channel for these productions.

Although Rudin has spent the last few years in New York and focusing more intensely on his business on Broadway, he has continued to maintain a strong film and television presence. His announcement this week of his intention to withdraw from his film and streaming projects as well as his on-stage efforts was confirmed by sources about the films he had with the New York-based production and distribution company. A24.

While the Broadway outcry – from protesters and unions to actors and fellow producers – has grown louder over the past week, the film world has generally not followed suit. That could change, however, with yesterday’s opening salvo from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon, who has occasionally worked with Rudin for two decades, largely to adapt his masterpiece. artwork. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay in a movie. In a scathing Medium article yesterday, Chabon expressed his shame and regret for not speaking up when he saw Rudin berating his subordinates over the years.

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