THR: ‘Everyone just knows’ producer Scott Rudin is ‘an absolute monster’

rudin THR cover

Scott Rudin has been a famous movie producer for many decades, and he’s executive-produced and developed multiple Oscar-winning productions over the years. I remember when I realized that Rudin was a nasty, backstabbing, abusive, melodramatic bitch though: the 2014 Sony Hack, where reams of internal Sony emails were hacked by North Korea in retaliation for Seth Rogen’s dumb movie The Interview. Remember when Rudin called Angelina Jolie a “minimally talented spoiled brat” and a “camp event” with a “rampaging spoiled ego”? Rudin talks about nearly everyone that way except David Fincher. He loooves David Fincher. Anyway, the Sony Hack was a terrible look for Rudin but he survived it and now here we are: the Hollywood Reporter has a huge story about how, shock of shocks, Scott Rudin has been a physically and emotionally abusive bully to staff and coworkers for years. You can read the THR story here.

Halloween 2012: At about 4:15 p.m. — more than 10 hours into a typical Rudin day that began at 6 and never wrapped before 8 — the Oscar-winning producer was enraged that one of his assistants failed to get him a seat on a sold-out flight. In a fit of fury, he allegedly smashed an Apple computer monitor on the assistant’s hand. The screen shattered, leaving the young man bleeding and in need of immediate medical attention. One person in the office at the time described the incident as sounding like a car crash: a cacophonous collision of metal, glass and limb. The wounded assistant headed to the emergency room, and Rudin called his lawyer, according to another staffer there that Halloween afternoon. Everyone else huddled in the conference room, shaken.

Caroline Rugo describes her experiences working with Rudin: “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. 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.”

Rugo left & now works for Netflix: “I got fired for having Type 1 diabetes, which is a federally protected disability,” says Rugo, who now works in development at Netflix. “I one hundred percent could have sued him. But I didn’t because of the fear of being blacklisted. But I’ve worked at Netflix for a year and a half now. And it was such a shock to the system because it’s one of the most respectful and progressive workplaces in terms of employee relations. Now that I have established myself here and I am a part of a team where my opinions are respected and welcomed, I have no issue speaking out about Scott. Everyone just knows he’s an absolute monster.”

Ryan Nelson, Rudin’s assistance in 2018-19: He says he experienced and witnessed so much mistreatment, including the producer throwing a stapler at a theater assistant and calling him a “r-tard,” that he left the industry altogether. “Every day was exhausting and horrific,” he says. “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.”

Rudin settles quickly, or there will be repercussions: Per a knowledgeable legal source, bullying claims against Rudin never see the light of day and are settled quietly. Fear of reprisals has kept many from speaking out. Employees typically sign a non-disparagement agreement. And several sources for this piece consulted with an attorney before proceeding, even off the record. Rudin also has been known to change credits, both as incentive and punishment. Several sources say that the victim of the computer monitor incident received three associate producing credits in addition to a monetary settlement.

[From THR]

The next Rudin production coming out is The Woman in the Window, an Amy Adams film which had a fraught production mainly because of Rudin’s hissy fits. It comes out on Netflix, in case you want to avoid it. It’s difficult to avoid Rudin’s productions because he has produced some great films. But yeah, he’s an absolute monster. What’s sort of surprising to me is that after he was exposed as a massive a–hole in the Sony Hack, his behavior didn’t improve. If anything, it seemed to get much, much worse. Maybe he thought he was getting away with it so why not double-down. Disgusting. Destroy his career. I hope everyone he’s physically assaulted sues him and files charges.

avalon-0342333131

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

53 Responses to “THR: ‘Everyone just knows’ producer Scott Rudin is ‘an absolute monster’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Sierra says:

    Now will be the perfect time for the cancel culture to claim this vile man as it’s next victim.

  2. Lady Luna says:

    What a POS! Gosh I wish people were taught to stand up for themselves in school. This is unacceptable!!

    • Blinkbanana says:

      It’s not so much that people should learn to stand up for themselves, more that people need to learn not to behave like this… it’s a small industry and everyone is fearful that they’ll be labelled difficult if they speak up. They’re scared about losing their jobs, which as a junior member of the team with no power, makes complete sense as to why you wouldn’t “stand up for yourself.” Let’s put the onus on Rudin rather than his victims.

    • MF1 says:

      The people he abuses are much, much less powerful than him (i.e. his assistants). If they stood up for themselves, he would have them blacklisted; he really does have that much clout in the industry. And given that it’s REALLY hard to get a job in film and TV, even as a lowly assistant, I can see why his victims would be too afraid to try.

    • megs283 says:

      If they stand up for themselves… they are out of a job. Blacklisted from their career and forced to start over, in another one. The blame lies 100% on the abuser (and – people who have the power to fire him or not hire him.)

    • superashes says:

      It isn’t that people can’t stand up for themselves, its that people forging a career in this particular industry are vulnerable to being blacklisted and having their career derailed over next to nothing, or even nothing, frankly. This man, at least on some level, understood this and chose to exploit it by not keeping his temper in check and controlling his behavior.

      What standing up for yourself in this environment would look like, would be getting low-key or high profile fired as an example to everyone else. It wouldn’t change this man’s behavior one iota, and even if it could, it still isn’t the responsibility of other people to modify his behavior by how they choose to respond to his tantrums. He is one hundred percent responsible for himself.

  3. Becks1 says:

    These allegations are horrifying and appalling. What Hollywood is willing to cover up in the name of money and awards….

  4. BearcatLawyer says:

    Yet he still works.

    No woman or POC could get away with even the tiniest smidge of this behaviour.

  5. Water Bearer 💧 says:

    This is horrifying. I believe the victims. Their stories expose a pattern of behaviour on his part. He’s a violent bully and there are receipts unlike the palace’s claim against Meghan Markle. None of the so called victims of Meghan have come forward with examples of her bullying behaviour. Anyway I digress.

  6. Genevieve says:

    Joe Wright has directed some beautiful films and it’s not his nor Amy Adams’ (we’ve all seen her immense talent) fault that this horror show of a person exists, so yes, I’d still very much watch The Woman in the Window. We should hold people responsible for their own actions, not the people forced to be in their environment.

    • Case says:

      I agree. I’m excited for the movie and just because he worked on it doesn’t mean the other people in it should be punished.

      Unless it’s an actor I really can’t stand to look at anymore (Johnny Depp, mostly), I still watch stuff even if a-holes were involved. There are people like this all over Hollywood and I’d have nothing left to watch if I was so selective.

    • Lyds says:

      It’s definitely not Amy’s fault but it makes me so sad for her. First David O. Russell and now Rudin? She has enough clout to not have to work with abusive men, you would hope.

  7. Nanny to the Rescue says:

    I’ve read the list of films he has produced. Between him and Weinstein, I’m running out of favourite films not produced by assholes. And I can probably slightly side-eye the others, too. At this point I’m half expecting horror stories about all major producers.

    • FrenchGirl says:

      Contrary to Weinstein, Ruffin really produced the movies.Weinstein often only was executive producer. He bought the movie just before the release

  8. FrenchGirl says:

    Nothing of news. I remember when Sony hack is released,many in twitter outed him as monster at work

    • Blinkbanana says:

      Yeah, it’s been known for a while. When is this going to happen to Bryan Singer and David O’Russell? So many shitty men in this industry 🙄

  9. jb says:

    I’m surprised it’s taken this long! When I started my career 15 years ago in fashion/media, the phrase around the office when editors would lose their sh*t was “on a scale of (Scott) Rudin, how bad was the outburst?” His rage, fury and physical abuse was extremely well-known, and it seemed all of us had a friend/peer/acquaintance who’d attempted to be an assistant. No one ever lasted more than 2 months bc he’s such a monster.

    • Izzy says:

      It’s just ridiculous how long it’s known by everyone that these men are what they are, yet still given power, praise, and tons of money.

    • MF1 says:

      Yup. I went to film school 5 years ago and heard about Rudin: specifically that he’s verbally and physically abusive to his assistants. He likes to throw things at them. (There’s a famous story about him throwing bagels and muffins. He also throws staplers, desk phones, and pretty much anything within reach.)

      His bullying is an open secret in Hollywood, and it’s shameful that people have continued to work with him. Glad the truth is out.

    • lucy2 says:

      I’m not in the industry at all, but knew his reputation. But he’s always had great successes with his films, so everyone (wrongly) tolerated it.
      I did NOT know he was physically attacking people and firing people for disabilities/illnesses. Yikes.

      Unfortunately I don’t see him changing. He doesn’t seem to have shame, rather is the type who prides himself on being “tough” (aka a monster) and thinks you get what you want by bullying people (I deal with a few of those in my industry). And as long as he’s making them money, a lot of people will still put up with it until he becomes their liability. It’s gross.

      • KNy says:

        Same! I don’t work at all in entertainment and I’ve known for years he was absolutely awful.

    • Lionel says:

      Oh goodness, this was well-known THIRTY years ago when I was in the industry. IIRC the Kevin Spacey character in “Swimming with Sharks” was based on Rudin.

      • smcollins says:

        I was just ready to reference that movie, too. I believe the screenplay was written by an actual assistant, based on their personal experience (minus the hostage situation and murder, of course. At least I hope so 😬). It used to be one of my favorite KS movies until he was exposed as a predator (ugh..another great talent that bit the dust).

      • D says:

        Exactly. My first job in the industry was for an awful producer in New York but we would joke in the office that at least we weren’t working for Rudin. This was 1996.

  10. Pix22 says:

    Shame on Netflix for bringing that toxicity to their studio. They know better.

  11. Mia4s says:

    Public embarrassment is the only weapon against someone like this. He won’t be available for interviews but they are going to need to pose questions about him to Amy Adams, Frances McDormand, Denzel Washington, Jennifer Lawrence, and every big name who has a project coming out that he produced or who has worked with him frequently.

    Fair?

    Nope!

    But clearly Hollywood does not give a f**k about right and wrong (even to the point of physical or sexual assault) until the bottom line might be affected or big names are made “uncomfortable”. This has to stop and Rudin has been an open secret for waaaaay too long.

  12. Tiffany says:

    Nothing is going to happen. Celebrities still fight to get a invite to his annual 4th of July BBQ.

    That is a huge, annual event that they plan their schedule around.

    He ain’t going nowhere.

  13. D says:

    I mean, this has been known for decades. The movie Swimming With Sharks was inspired by him.

    • MF1 says:

      I know, right? In other news, water is wet. (I really am so, so tired of white men getting away with shitty, toxic behavior.)

  14. MissMarierose says:

    Sounds like the only way to stop this guy is to have the talent (actors and directors) stop working with him. But from the looks of the article, he never shows that side of himself when they’re around.
    I hope this article is a wake up call for them.
    Perhaps a reporter should ask the Cohen brothers about him; they seem to work with him more than once.

  15. Charlotte says:

    So now he is horrible??, But I remember how everybody was laughing & celebrating for what he said about Angelina!! 😐 Yeah, they thought, he was so funny!! Now he is not that funny, right??

    • Myra says:

      Sometimes people make excuses for bad behaviour just because they have a personal, often irrational, dislike of the victim. It’s the same with some people making excuses for Piers Morgan because they don’t like Meghan. They will cheer on a vile misogynist because they don’t like the victim. And with no sense of irony whatsoever, they will tell you to be kind to celebrities that they do like.

    • Mireille says:

      Yup, hypocrites. There’s outrage NOW in light of the expose on his behavior, but when those e-mails surfaced between him AND Amy Pascal involving Angelina — a lot of people, including some on these boards — just laughed it off, because it was Angelina.

      I’ve worked with men like him and I’m sick of them getting away with it. But he will continue to get away with it. I have no faith in Hollywood to change.

  16. Deering24 says:

    1) Behavior like this is why I had major issues with “The Devil Wears Prada” movie. It made employee abuse funny and glamorous—and it made Andy look like a dense wet blanket when she at first doesn’t fit in to what is a toxic culture. That shit is not cute or cool, and it can take years to recover from it.

    2) Oh, _now_ they’re doing something about this scum? What happened—is he not making the grosses he used to? 🤮🤮

    3) Just his insults about Obama should have had him cancelled for good.

    • MF1 says:

      Yes to #2: b/c of the pandemic, his movies aren’t make the same $$$ they used to. So now the Hollywood Reporter and other industry publications are actually willing to talk about his abusive history.

    • MF1 says:

      Yes to #2: b/c of the pandemic, his movies aren’t make the same $$$ they used to. So now the Hollywood Reporter and other industry publications are actually willing to talk about his abusive history.

  17. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I hope he gets some.

  18. Midge says:

    NDA’s should be illegal. And so should paying taxes on settlements. Speaking from experience, by the time the lawyers and taxes are paid, and your reputation is ruined, and you cannot discuss it with anyone, there is very little justice. And there will be future victims.

  19. Blues clues says:

    Yep @Charlotte. Some were celebrating what he said about Jolie even has it on repeat in Twitter arguments. Echoing it like it’s a testament of her reputation. Rudin was clearly being a douche because Angelina dared to go against him on how her character should look and challenge him about Fincher.
    The sad thing is Mr Monster didn’t have the guts to say things to her face. So guess who looked stupid.
    It was only Pitt and Aniston stans laughing and mocking, we knew why!

  20. Emily_C says:

    I’ve had bad jobs, but never one in which I feared my boss might physically abuse me. Hollywood’s a mess.

  21. The Recluse says:

    This article may end up being the first of many dominoes that bring this monster down.

  22. Silvie says:

    Unpopular opinion, but I actually worked for him. He is terrible, cruel, vicious – however, he is often also very generous to the people who work for him who he knows he mistreats and who he knows are loyal. He’s advanced the careers of a lot of people who he mistreated who would not be where they are today if he hadn’t helped their careers along. It doesn’t excuse the behavior AT ALL. But he does recognize talent and mentor, which is a lot more than many other similar but less famous producers in this town do. He called me every name in the book once on a phone call and then sent me vintage champagne the following week to make nice.

    • Genevieve says:

      That Jeckyll and Hyde thing is a damaging abuse tactic, Silvie. It’s meant to gaslight and shellshock the abuser’s targets. My ex used to yell at me, call me names, belittle and demean anything I said and then come back into the room suggesting a vacation to my favorite city in the world. Would straight sit there and start buying plane tickets. The last time he did it I was in such emotional shock that everything clicked and I realized it had to end.

      As far as Rubin, he could send his victims all the gifts and mobility in the world, it does not in any way excuse or absolve him from the abuse.

    • Deering24 says:

      Silvie, but how many careers did he wreck? How many people did he hurt for no damn good reason. And _why_ couldn’t he have helped talent without abusing them. This kinda of excusing okey-doke is how guys like this continue to get away with this mess—and why it’s past time Hollywood cleaned house.