Members of multiple Broadway productions including To Kill a Mockingbird and West Side Story have been released from the nondisclosure agreements that previously prohibited them from speaking publicly about workplace misconduct related to producer Scott Rudin.
Other productions impacted include The Iceman Cometh and The Lehman Trilogy, with the NDA release effective immediately, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed Thursday with the Actor’s Equity Association.
While four shows were announced as part of the release secured by the union, others could be impacted, with a spokesperson for Actor’s Equity telling THR that members on other Rudin-produced shows can reach out to get assistance with a release if they, too, signed NDAs.
The national union, which represents more than 50,000 professional actors and stage managers working in live theater, had previously called for those working on Rudin-produced shows to be released from their nondisclosure agreements.
The union had also filed two unfair labor practice grievances against Rudin, later expanding to include The Broadway League, the trade association for producers and theater owners, after Rudin resigned.
“Since news reports emerged about Scott Rudin, we have had many private conversations with our sibling unions and the Broadway League,” Equity president Kate Shindle and executive director Mary McColl said in a joint statement after Rudin announced he was stepping back as a producer in the wake of the THR story published last year.
“We salute the courage of those who came forward,” the statement continued. “We hope that Scott Rudin will also release his staff from any nondisclosure agreements they may have signed as a condition of employment.”
THR’s April 2021 investigation presented multiple, detailed accounts from Rudin’s former assistants and employees, who leveled numerous allegations of misconduct and abuse — including having items thrown at them — while working for the producer. Following the report, Rudin stepped back from multiple projects in theater, including his role with The Broadway League, as well as stage productions like The Music Man and Moulin Rouge!
In a follow-up June 23 story, additional details about Rudin’s abusive workplace behavior emerged, including the claim that actress Frances McDormand and director Joel Coen had witnessed Rudin berating one of his assistants before she quit. (The duo later denied they had seen misbehavior, with Coen telling Deadline that “whoever is saying we did see it is not being honest.”)
Along with the news that members of former Rudin-produced shows will be released from their NDAs came the announcement that The Broadway League has also agreed to stop using nondisclosure language in contracts or riders outside of protecting intellectual property, financial information or in other limited, approved circumstances going forward.
That means the League’s producing members will no longer be able to use NDAs to limit what actors and stage managers — who among other things, may desire to speak out against workplace harassment, bullying or discrimination — can say, according to Equity. The union also shared that it intends to bring “similarly protective language forward in negotiations with their other bargaining partners in support of creating a new industry standard.”