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re: Maybe deservedly so?
Last Edit: mikem 01:33 pm EDT 04/11/21
Posted by: mikem 01:32 pm EDT 04/11/21
In reply to: Maybe deservedly so? - portenopete 11:47 am EDT 04/11/21

The Hollywood Reporter article opens with a report of an assistant's hand injured by being smashed by a computer monitor because of Rudin. The article implies that it was a deliberate act, but no witnesses are interviewed, so we don't actually know. Even the horrified co-workers feel that the physical assault was unexpected and somewhat out of character, although they give plenty of examples of him throwing things around and smashing objects while having a temper tantrum. That's the only physical assault I noticed in the article.

My personal guess is that the physical assault was unintentional, that he was throwing things around and didn't intend to hit the assistant, although that doesn't negate the fact that he did hit him. Many years ago, I had to interact at work with a mini-version of Rudin for a couple of weeks. Like with Rudin, everyone knew what he was like but no one would do anything about it because he was a top earner. One day, he was throwing things around the room in a temper tantrum, and one of them hit me. It had a sharp edge and drew blood, although it was a minor injury that just needed a bandaid. I am sure he did not intend to hit me, although he never apologized and actually tried to get me fired when I made a complaint about it. And his boss, after he received the complaint, called me into his office to threaten me, saying, "I very strongly advise you not to take this any further than you already have." I was about the age of the assistants in the article. I have a different kind of strength today than I did then. If it happened now, I might have filed a police report so that there was a public paper trail, but at the time I was young and easily intimidated. My time with the guy and his entire department was coincidentally coming to a close anyway, and I didn't pursue it any further. I never saw him or his boss again. Nothing happened to the guy, and I'm sure he continued to behave horribly.

I have complicated feelings about Rudin. On one hand, IF we believe the physical assault was unintentional (reckless behavior rather than intentionally trying to hurt someone physically), he isn't breaking any major laws, and his assistants are adults who took the job with their eyes wide open. I'm sure they had other offers. I think that’s why there hasn’t been much response. He’s a jerk, he’s not a criminal. On the other hand, his behavior is really not okay, and I strongly disagree with the contention that, because he is producing something of value, it's okay that he treats people terribly. As someone earlier said, he's not throwing things at Hugh Jackman. He has the ability to control himself but chooses not to. And a Rudin (or Robbins or Merrick or...) with more self-control would still be able to contribute to the theater world in the same way, without being an asshole to powerless people around him.
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