In April, THR and New York Magazine published reports outlining allegations of Rudin’s abusive behavior from his staffers, which resulted in the award-winning film, television and Broadway producer leaving numerous projects amid the scandal.
However, a new report from THR about Rudin’s ability to go decades without being held accountable for his actions suggests that his behavior could have been known to the public more than a year sooner by the Gray Lady.
“Many who worked with him say the producer was masterful with the media,” THR reported on Wednesday. “Multiple sources say a New York Times exposé was scheduled to run before the Feb. 20, 2020, opening of West Side Story at the Broadway Theatre. Publication was imminent for the weekend of the 2020 Oscars, which took place Feb. 9, but was held without explanation to those who had participated, leaving several feeling exposed.”
Caroline Rugo, a former Rudin staffer who participated in THR’s story on her former boss, claimed she gave an on-the-record account of his behavior to the Times in early 2020. Josh Arnon, another ex-staffer, alleged he spoke with a Times reporter for hours as part of a story, he said, “that never came to pass.”
“I was not told at the time why it was killed,” Arnon told THR.
The Times did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment, but a spokesperson told THR the paper does not comment on unpublished stories. The Times, which notably broke the Harvey Weinstein scandal in 2017, did run its own Rudin story in April of this year following bombshell reports from THR and New York Magazine.
THR indicated that Rudin’s business ties with the Times could have been a factor in the paper holding back its exposé.
“Sources familiar with the New York Times-Rudin relationship say he provided one of the biggest ad revenue streams for the newspaper’s Arts & Leisure section, totaling about $3 million a year,” THR reported. “The Times spokesperson adds, ‘The advertising department is entirely separate from the newsroom and has no control or influence over any news coverage.’”
One anecdote from a staffer for the ad agency SpotCo could shed light on Rudin’s powerful influence over the Times.
SpotCo had a years-long partnership with Rudin that ended in 2020 in a lawsuit launched by the agency $6.3 million for “unpaid work” promoting several of his Broadway shows before the pandemic. But former intern Andrew Temkin witnessed Rudin’s scorched-earth response to a 2016 dustup with the Times.
“He wanted changes to his ads. When SpotCo relayed to him from the ad department of The New York Times that the section was already set for that Sunday, he ‘responded all’ to an email with, ‘Tell that c–t to do as I say or I will never advertise in the Times again,’ “Temkin told THR. “Just like that, he got his way. Obviously, his language was terrible, but what’s more concerning was his successful use of leverage over a print media company whose ad sales were dwindling.”
Rudin was the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award-winning producer on hit movies like “The Social Network,” “There Will Be Blood” and “No Country for Old Men.” He’s also behind TV shows like “What We Do in the Shadows” and “The Newsroom.” Meanwhile, his theater-producing credits include the Tony-winning 2018 adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
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