Aaron Sorkin has opened up about breaking ties with producer Scott Rudin.
Ahead of his production of To Kill A Mockingbird returning to Broadway, The West Wing writer spoke to Vanity Fair about dismissing Rudin due to accusations of bullying and abuse of power. The writer and director insisted that he did not know about the alleged misconduct, despite reports that he kept silent on the matter.
“Had I known, there’s no chance I would’ve tolerated it, there’s no chance (director) Bart Sher would’ve tolerated it, that (Mockingbird star) Jeff Daniels would’ve tolerated it. So we didn’t know. And once we did, we did something about it,” the 60-year-old began.
“I think Scott got what he deserves. He’s lying flat on the mat right now, and I don’t know how it’s helpful for me to stand on his torso and kind of jump up and down.”
The accusations surrounding Rudin were revealed in an April investigation from The Hollywood Reporter, which laid out a timeline for the alleged workplace abuses, including an alleged instance of attacking his assistant.
Following the explosive report, Rudin issued a statement in which he apologised for any “pain my behaviour caused to individuals, directly or indirectly.” The producer was released from the Hugh Jackman-led show The Music Man and announced that he would be stepping away from future projects.
Sorkin said he only met with the producer over one Zoom call to discuss releasing him as a producer of his stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s famous novel.
“It was made clear that Scott would no longer have any relationship with To Kill a Mockingbird, either the Broadway company or the London company or the national tour,” he said, though Rudin remains an investor in the play.
The Broadway play opened in late 2018 and was suspended amid the Covid-19 pandemic. It is scheduled to reopen on 5 October, with Daniels back as Atticus Finch.