Actors' Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, has issued a statement from President Kate Shindle and Executive Director Mary McColl in response to news that Scott Rudin is stepping back from his role as producer in several Broadway shows:
"Since news reports emerged about Scott Rudin, we have had many private conversations with our sibling unions and the Broadway League. We have heard from hundreds of members that these allegations are inexcusable, and everyone deserves a safe workplace whether they are a union member or not.
"We salute the courage of those who came forward. We hope that Scott Rudin will also release his staff from any nondisclosure agreements they may have signed as a condition of employment.
"This is an important step in creating truly safe and harassment-free theatrical workplaces on Broadway and beyond. It is not the end of our work to ensure a workplace safe for everyone in the industry as we work toward reopening."
Rudin’s workplace behavior and ill treatment of assistants dates back decades and recently brought tolight in a Hollywood Reporter article, in which four former employees spoke of intimidation, bullying and, in at least one instance, physical violence during their times in the Rudin office.
Earlier this week, three theatrical unions, SAG-AFTRA, Actors’ Equity Association and American Federation of Musicians-Local 802 issued a statement condemning harassment, bullying and toxic environments and pledging “to hold accountable those who violate human and legal norms of fair, respectful and dignified conduct in the workplace.”
This coming week, a grassroots “March on Broadway” protest is planned for Wednesday, April 21, It begins atColumbus Circle, and is making stops at the Winter Garden Theater, home of the $17 million Music Man production, Actors’ Equity offices, and Rudin’s office. The announcement of the march has been shared on Instagram and other social media, though it’s unclear as of yet what impact Rudin’s statement will have on the plans.