A source told the Hollywood Reporter Saturday that Broadway star Sutton Foster had issued an ultimatum on set of the Scott Rudin-produced Broadway revival of The Music Man: that if Rudin—who faced numerous allegations of fostering an abusive work environment—didn’t step down, she’d quit. Rudin did eventually resign, and on Sunday Foster explained her previous silence on the matter in an Instagram Live, telling viewers, “I never had to deal with anyone like this before, and I think 46 years on this Earth deserves that. I’m mature enough to take the time and I think people should allow it.”
In her Instagram Live with fellow actor Beth Nicely, Foster described her feelings about Rudin’s resignation, saying that “the only positive outcome is the one that happened” and that she “can’t wait to create an incredible, safe, inclusive, loving, amazing environment for everyone involved” in The Music Man.
She also explained why she didn’t speak up sooner:
“I needed to just step away to really address how I wanted to handle the situation. And I didn’t feel like I needed to post [on social media] so that it would happen. I didn’t feel like that was something I needed to do because it becomes like a reactionary thing. And for me, it was — I needed to step back make sure the decision I made was mine and not based on the noise of social media. That’s who I am.”
Of course, it always seems to be the women who are questioned first when allegations of workplace abuse break. Early in April, the Hollywood Reporter published a scathing look into the world of Hollywood power player and “uber-producer” Rudin, including incidents in which he allegedly threw a laptop at a window during a meeting and threw a glass bowl at an employee. It allegedly missed, but that employee left the office in an ambulance after the incident induced a panic attack.
Foster also apologized “if it seems like I wasn’t actively trumpeting my feelings,” she said, as she “needed to step back and make sure the decision I made was mine and not based on the noise of social media.”
Most pointedly: “That’s who I am.”
From the looks of it, Foster wasn’t quiet behind the scenes. The anonymous source who spoke with THR of Foster’s alleged ultimatum to producers on The Music Man also mentioned that she was supported by co-star Hugh Jackman. Of Rudin’s exit from the production, Foster reiterated that “the only positive outcome is the one that is happening, and I know Hugh feels exactly the same way.”