More than 100 Broadway and theater actors, staff and workers marched in protest Thursday, calling the full resignation of Scott Rudin and demanded additional diversity in the industry. Rudin, an award-winning film, television and theater producer, is accused of bullying and harassing employees.
“We want to shut Scott Rudin out of the Broadway League,” Nattalyee Randall, march co-organizer, told CBS New York, referring to theater’s biggest union.
Rudin stepped back from his current and upcoming Broadway and film projects, including the highly-anticipated Broadway revival of “The Music Man” starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster. This comes after accusations of bullying, harassment and abuse by current and former employees that were detailed in a recent expose published in the Hollywood Reporter.
Last week, Rudin announced his decision and apologized in a statement to CBS News. “After a period of reflection, I’ve made the decision to step back from active participation on our Broadway productions, effective immediately. My roles will be filled by others from the Broadway community and in a number of cases, from the roster of participants already in place on those shows,” the statement said.
“Much has been written about my history of troubling interactions with colleagues, and I am profoundly sorry for the pain my behavior caused to individuals, directly and indirectly. I am now taking steps that I should have taken years ago to address this behavior.”
Still, protestors on Thursday called for Rudin to be removed as a producer with the Broadway League. “Scott could still be a silent partner,” said Courtney Daniels, who organized the march. “We want him banished from the Broadway League. We want him banished and put on the do-not-work list.”
In addition to Rudin’s removal, the march listed five additional demands surrounding inclusion, safety, and visibility like a list of BIPOC and indigenous groups the Actors Equity Association is working with. They also demanded greater inclusion for transgender and nonbinary artists, diversity in the national actor’s equity council, accessibility for deaf and disabled artists, and a report breaking down how the 2019-2020 actors dues were spent.
Those attending the march filled Times Square and walked down Broadway with signs and posters highlighting their rallying cries.
“Disabled representation need not be only in shows that are about disability,” a protestor told CBS New York. “We can play any role.”