Producer Scott Rudin to 'step back' from film and theatre projects amid bullying allegations

The producer, who has worked on the likes of 'The Social Network', says he is 'profoundly sorry for the pain my behaviour has caused'

FILE - Writer-director Ethan Coen, from left, producer Scott Rudin and writer-director Joel Coen pose with their Oscars after the film "No Country for Old Men" won best motion picture of the year at the 80th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 24, 2008. Rudin, one of the most successful and powerful producers, with a heap of Oscars and Tonys to show for it, has long been known for his torturous treatment of an ever-churning parade of assistants. Such behavior has long been engrained — and sometimes even celebrated — in show business. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)

Scott Rudin is “stepping back” from film and streaming projects, along with his Broadway productions, as the fallout continues for one of the entertainment industry's most powerful and prolific producers following renewed accusations of bullying.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Rudin said he would use the time to “work on personal issues I should have long ago". Rudin, who has many projects in various stages of development, didn't otherwise specify what “stepping back” entailed.

“I am profoundly sorry for the pain my behaviour has caused and I take this step with a commitment to grow and change,” said Rudin.

On Saturday, the producer said his work on Broadway would, for now, be filled by others, including those already at work on those productions. His responses follow a story by The Hollywood Reporter on April 7 that detailed numerous instances of alleged harsh treatment of employees of his production company, including smashing a laptop screen on an assistant's hand and throwing objects including glass bowls, staplers and baked potatoes.

FILE - Producer Scott Rudin accepts the award for best revival of a play for "Skylight" at the 69th annual Tony Awards in New York on June 7, 2015. Rudin, one of the most successful and powerful producers, with a heap of Oscars and Tonys to show for it, has long been known for his torturous treatment of an ever-churning parade of assistants. Such behavior has long been engrained — and sometimes even celebrated — in show business. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Rudin, 62, has long shepherded some of the most acclaimed films and Broadway shows to fruition. His productions have accumulated more than 150 Oscar nominations and some 17 Tonys.

That includes films like No Country for Old Men, The Social Network, The Truman Show, Fences and The Grand Budapest Hotel. His Broadway hits include The Book of Mormon and To Kill a Mockingbird. In the past, he's defended his workplace environment as part of a tough and competitive business.

Upcoming film projects for Rudin include Netflix's starry adaptation of the bestseller The Woman in the Window, A24's adaptation of the Tony-winning play The Humans and Joel Coen's Shakespeare adaptation The Tragedy of Macbeth, with Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand.

Current Broadway shows produced by Rudin include The Book of Mormon, To Kill a Mockingbird, West Side Story and the upcoming revival of The Music Man.

A24 is ending its relationship with Rudin on future films, said a person familiar with the company's plans, who was granted anonymity because they weren't authorised to speak publicly on the matter. The boutique studio and Rudin have collaborated on some of the most acclaimed films of recent years, including Lady Bird, Uncut Gems and Eighth Grade. In December, A24 and Rudin set plans to adapt the 2020 bestseller Shuggie Bain.

A spokesperson for A24 declined to comment.

While most of Rudin’s collaborators have been quiet following the article, several prominent labour unions earlier responded. The Actors’ Equity Association, which represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, called on Rudin to release former employees from nondisclosure agreements signed during employment with him.

Sag-Aftra, the Actors’ Equity Association and the American Federation of Musicians Local 802 earlier released a joint statement that didn't directly address the Rudin report but spoke out against toxic workplace environments.

“Every worker deserves to do their job in an environment free of harassment of any kind, whether that harassment creates a toxic workplace or, certainly in the case of sexual harassment, when that behaviour is also against the law," the unions said.