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Theatre-goers and Broadway stars protest Scott Rudin and inequality

Theatre-goers and Broadway stars protest Scott Rudin and inequality

Members of the city’s theater community marched down Broadway chanting, “F— Scott Rudin” on Thursday in a protest over working conditions, the treatment of actors of color and recent allegations of bullying and even physical assault by the powerful producer

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Actors and theatre-goers  gathered in Columbus Circle to protest Scott Rudin and inequality in the Broadway community.
Actors and theater-goers gathered in Columbus Circle to protest Scott Rudin and inequality in the Broadway community.
Robert Miller

Several hundred theater-goers, actors and behind-the-scenes workers attended the afternoon rally to demand better treatment regarding pay and diversity in hiring when Broadway reopens.

Dozens joined in the profane taunts at Rudin — who produced mega-hits including “The Book of Mormon” and “West Side Story” — as rally-goers marched from Columbus Circle to Washington Square Park.

Protesters demanded that Actor Equity and The Broadway league put Rudin on the " no work List".
Protesters demanded that Actor Equity and The Broadway league put Rudin on the “no work List”.
Robert Miller

Karen Olivo, the actor who played Satine in “Moulin Rouge!” — a show she said she left due to the allegations against Rudin — attended the rally and march but did not speak.

“I believe that a theatre where there is no tolerance for racism, sexism or assault is possible,” Jaime Cepero of the hit showbiz series Smash told the crowd at Columbus Circle.

Chants of 'F--k Scott Rudin" and "Black Lives Matter"  filled Midtown on April 22, 2021.
Chants of ‘F–k Scott Rudin” and “Black Lives Matter” filled Midtown on April 22, 2021.
Robert Miller

“From the beginning, I never felt wanted or needed in the building” former “Dear Evan Hansen” star Diamond Essence White told rally-goers of working at The Music Box Theatre, a Broadway house on W. 45th Street.

“I thought it was all in my head. But it wasn’t,” the black actor said of “micro-aggressions” concerning her appearance she said she suffered at the hands of stage managers while an understudy there for the show.

“No news? No dues!” some chanted during the march, a complaint over the Actor’s Equity union, which they accuse of being not transparent concerning its spending.

Demands made by protesters included more transparency from Actors Equity as well as The Broadway League.
Demands made by protesters included more transparency from Actors Equity as well as The Broadway League.
Robert Miller

“Black Lives Matter!” and “Trans Lives Matter!” marchers also chanted.

The chants of “F— Scott Rudin” were heard throughout the march, but were especially loud as the procession passed The Winter Garden Theatre, home of the upcoming Hugh Jackman-led revival of “The Music Man,” a production Rudin recently stepped down from.

Many within the Broadway community have been calling for The Broadway League and Actors Equity Association to ban Rudin from ever working on a Broadway show again.

About the author

James Thompson

James Thompson has worked in various news organizations and now aims to make Report Door one of the best and fastest growing news websites in the U.S. He contributes to the US and World sections.