In a lengthy interview with Oscar-winning screenwriter and The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin, Vanity Fair got him to speak for the first time about producer Scott Rudin, a once frequent collaborator whose career was torpedoed by accusations of bullying and even physical violence against his staff.
Those accusations from former employees were chronicled in a bombshell Hollywood Reporter feature last April.
“He got what he deserved,” Sorkin said in part, explaining he previously stayed silent about Rudin because he didn’t think it was “helpful for me to stand on his torso and kind of jump up and down.”
Sorkin says, “…I’ve worked with Scott a lot, three feature films, an HBO series, and a Broadway play. [I]t was painful to read that Hollywood Reporter story, particularly because it’s pretty likely that some of those assistants who were being abused were working on something I wrote while they were being abused. So I took it personally.”
Sorkin insists to Vanity Fair that he knew about Rudin’s “higher class of bullying,” but claims he never personally witnessed any troubling behavior or heard any of the physical violence accusations. The pair last worked on the Tony-winning revival of To Kill a Mockingbird, with Jeff Daniels in the lead.
Sorkin also explained the last time he spoke with the disgraced producer was when he severed Rudin’s ties with To Kill a Mockingbird via Zoom. The play will re-open after the COVID-19 hiatus on October 5, without Rudin’s involvement.
As for his former collaborator on The Social Network, Steve Jobs, Moneyball and The Newsroom, Sorkin, who’s battled substance abuse problems, said of Rudin, “I feel the way I would with an alcoholic or an addict. I hope he gets better.”
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