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Amid Accusations Of Abusive Behavior, Producer Scott Rudin Says He's Stepping Back From Broadway Duties

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Broadway producer Scott Rudin says he's stepping back from his duties amid accusations that he was abusive to colleagues; CBS2's Cory James reports.

Video Transcript

HAZEL SANCHEZ: Broadway and Hollywood producer Scott Rudin says he's stepping back from his duties, amid accusations that he was abusive to colleagues. CBS 2's Cory James has more from where one of Rudin's shows is still scheduled to open this fall. Cory?

CORY JAMES: Yeah, Hazel, Scott Rudin was expected to be the lead producer of the upcoming musical "The Music Man" starring Hugh Jackman and also Sutton Foster at the Winter Garden Theater here. But amid some allegations of verbal abuse and verbal-- or violent behavior, rather, he says he is stepping back.

BRIAN COOK: Everyone who knows his name knows the story of Scott Rudin.

CORY JAMES: And that story for the producer of nearly 80 Broadway shows is unraveling with controversy. 62-year-old Scott Rudin, the man behind Broadway shows like "To Kill a Mockingbird" starring Jeff Daniels--

JEFF DANIELS: The very last thing I want in the world to be your lawyer right now.

CORY JAMES: "Hello Dolly" with Bette Midler, and "The Iceman Cometh" with Denzel Washington now publicly responding to accusations of abusive behavior toward colleagues. Brian Cook telling us he has worked on Rudin's productions, but never experienced his alleged rage. However, Cook says he has friends who witnessed the toxic culture.

BRIAN COOK: Every meeting was a screaming match on the phone. Having to mute him just to let him drone on, to let his terror run its course, and then the meeting can continue.

CORY JAMES: But according to the "Hollywood Reporter," Rudin allegedly smashed a computer monitor on an assistant's hand and threw objects at workers, including a stapler and potato.

KAREN OLIVO: The silence about Scott Rudin, unacceptable.

CORY JAMES: Tony Award-winning actress Karen Olivo spoke out earlier this week. The star in "Moulin Rouge," which is not a Rudin production--

- If not for love--

CORY JAMES: --telling fans on social media she is not returning to the show, because humanity is more important than her bank account.

KAREN OLIVO: Building a better industry is more important than putting money in my pockets. I want a theater industry that matches my integrity.

CORY JAMES: Meantime, Rudin releasing a statement saying in part, quote, "after a period of reflection, I've made the decision to step back from active participation on our Broadway productions, effective immediately. 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."

And Rudin says, when it comes to his roles, those positions will be filled by other members of the Broadway community. He also says he is taking steps to address his behavior, and he says that's something that he claims he should have done years ago. We're live in Midtown, Cory James, CBS 2 News.

HAZEL SANCHEZ: All right. Cory, thanks so much.