In April, sources told The Hollywood Reporter that if Scott Rudin did not resign as producer of Broadway’s The Music Man, star Sutton Foster would walk. He later exited the production, among others, following numerous allegations of having created abusive, toxic work environments for his employees. On Friday, Foster finally confirmed that reporting to Variety.
In an interview, Foster revealed:
“Obviously, we were dealing with a situation and navigating a very difficult situation, so there were a lot of conversations that were being had,” Foster tells Variety, when asked to respond to reports that she said she would leave the show, if Rudin did not leave. “All that I can say is that was definitely part of the conversation. I can say that it was definitely part of the conversation, but it was never a threat — it was always just part of discussions of what I felt comfortable with and what I wanted to be involved with.”
She contradicted one important tidbit in THR’s initial scoop: contrary to what sources described as an ultimatum, Foster said “it was never a threat.” She also explained her approach to handling the situation on-set:
“You look at what your values are and what is important to you as you are navigating your career and the choices that you make, and then also, how you put those choices out into the world. So, it was an interesting time because I really had to ask a lot of questions of myself on how I wanted to handle the situation, so there were lots of conversations being had.”
In an Instagram Live after Rudin first resigned in April, she told fellow actor Beth Nicely 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.
“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.”
Rudin’s employees have described him as a “monster,” as Variety notes, including anecdotes in the Hollywood Reporter that he had thrown things at employees and repeatedly exhibited a violent temper, making many feel unsafe. In a statement after his resignation, Rudin said, “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.”
Foster and I both agree, however, that the “only positive outcome is the one that happened.” Best of luck to the cast of The Music Man.