Producer Scott Rudin, a Baldwin Native, Accused of Abusing Staff

71st Tony Awards – Show
71st Tony Awards – Show – New York City, U.S., 11/06/2017 – Scott Rudin and Bette Midler – “Hello, Dolly!” wins Best Musical Revival.

Producer, Baldwin native, and Quogue homeowner Scott Rudin, one of the most powerful people in Hollywood, has been accused of physically abusing his assistants over the years, according to an exposé in The Hollywood Reporter.

Former employees of Rudin told the publication that an assistant was taken to a hospital after the producer allegedly smashed a laptop on the worker’s hand, another employee was hospitalized after suffering a panic attack following one of Rudin’s tirades, and others said objects he threw at staffers included a tea cup, glass bowl, a stapler, and a baked potato.

“Everyone just knows he’s an absolute monster,” Caroline Rugo, a former executive coordinator for Rudin, told THR of witnessing the producer’s violent outbursts, including the one that ended in a panic attack.

Rudin’s former assistants mostly kept mum, fearing it would ruin their careers if they spoke out. But some broke their silence last week and called out his alleged abuse and bullying in which he routinely screamed insults at his staff. In response, the entertainment industry largely remained silent and since he owns his own production company, he can’t be fired.

“It’s not an easy thing to do to come forward and say that you’ve been abused. So to just turn a blind eye, I think is very hypocritical,” actor Mauricio Martínez, who was disheartened by the lack of response to the story, told The Associated Press. “When we’re all reexamining the power structures and all the inequities, there’s just some things that we cannot enable and stay silent about.”

The reason Hollywood continues to look the other way may be that Rudin is one of the few in the industry to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award. Among his many credits are Oscar-winning films No Country for Old Men, Lady Bird, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. 

He’s also helping produce the NY Pops-Up series meant to jumpstart the industry after the coronavirus pandemic. Representatives for Gov. Andrew Cuomo — who’s currently facing impeachment hearings due to alleged sexual harassment — did not respond to a request for comment on Rudin. Neither did Rudin’s representatives.

Rudin left Long Island after graduating high school and started his career on Broadway, where he founded a casting office before moving to Hollywood at age 21 and working his way up the ranks at Fox.

“I was a Jewish kid from Long Island who didn’t want to be a Jewish kid from Long Island,” Rudin told The New York Times. 

THR‘s story wasn’t the first public airing of Rudin’s antics. The Times story, which ran in 1993, also asked the producer about questionable dealings with his staff. A profile of Rudin headlined “Boss-Zilla!” that ran in The Wall Street Journal termed himthe most feared boss in Hollywood” and reported that he had been though at least 119 and more than 250 assistants as of 2005. A Page Six story in 2014 that dubbed him “Hollywood’s biggest a-hole” claimed he keeps a box of spare phones because he’s thrown so many at assistants.

While none of the celebrities who’ve worked with Rudin responded to the latest story alleging years of physical abuse, other big names weighed in.

“Dear Hollywood, YOU MUST CLEAN HOUSE,” tweeted outspoken Charmed actress Rose McGowan, who has alleged she was a victim of convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein, who denies assaulter her. “If you are profiting from known monsters YOU are a monster. And to all you chickenshit celebs I promise this, if you do not start blowing your goddamn truth whistles you will fade away. We see you. The time is now.”

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