Earlier this year, several of Scott Rudin’s former employees spoke out against the super-producer, alleging that he was verbally and physically abusive towards them. In the wake of the claims, Rudin has been removed from several major projects, including Aaron Sorkin’s Broadway adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird, which is returning to the stage next month.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Sorkin said that Rudin “got what he deserves,” but the American President writer claimed that he had no knowledge of Rudin’s physically abusive tendencies before the Hollywood Reporter exposé.
“I’ll tell you that in a number of the follow-up stories that I read, you’ll see people quoted saying, ‘Everybody knew, everybody knew,’” the Moneyball writer said. “And that’s ludicrous. Everybody did not know. I certainly didn’t know, and I don’t know anybody who knew.”
Huh? Is Aaron Sorkin lying? Did he not read this Page Six article from 2014 that describes Rudin forcing an assistant out of a car in the middle of the Triborough Bridge? Or maybe this Wall Street Journal article from 2005 where a former employee says that Rudin would throw his phone in anger and “rookies often stood too close”?
Sorkin is a busy guy and has had a lot of projects, including The Social Network, Steve Jobs, Moneyball, The Newsroom, all of which were produced by Rudin. So maybe he missed all the stuff about Rudin. Although Sorkin himself noted that “it’s pretty likely that some of those assistants who were being abused were working on something I wrote while they were being abused.”
In my opinion it is fairly odd that Sorkin could work so much with Rudin and have absolutely no idea that they were allegedly getting phones hurled at their head and, in one case, being sent to the emergency room. The latter incident happened in 2012, just a few months after The Newsroom premiered, so he’s right that the timelines match up.
But what’s sticking in my craw is this: I knew all about Rudin, and I’m just some girl. I had friends and acquaintances who interned at his production company in college, and all of them saw him do awful shit all the time. For a guy obsessed with dialogue it doesn’t seem like Sorkin talks to a lot of people. Or maybe he just can’t read. Very strange.