The battle to take back Broadway has begun.
Broadway's Karen Olivo, who was slated to return to their role in Moulin Rouge! when Broadway reopens, announced they will not return to the role when the show comes back.
They shared the news on Instagram with a video.
Olivo's decision comes in protest to the theatre industry's silence regarding The Hollywood Reporter's exposé on producer Scott Rudin, outing Rudin as a serial abuser creating a hostile workplace with his sometimes violent outbursts.
"social justice is more important than being the sparkling diamond." my respect for karen olivo just skyrocketed https://t.co/Y2wog49GQk— sophia ✨ (@sophia ✨) 1618430462.0
They screamed about Karen Olivo not going back to Moulin Rouge, immediately, but Scott Rudin’s name still goes unspoken.— DeMarius R. Copes (@DeMarius R. Copes) 1618506786.0
I’ve known @Karenolivo for many years, & I’ve always had the utmost respect for her. Never more so than now, as s… https://t.co/yODmj4pwxt— Anthony Rapp Voted for Biden Black Lives Matter (@Anthony Rapp Voted for Biden Black Lives Matter) 1618436973.0
I hope every white lead of a Broadway show waiting to return watches and honors what Karen Olivo did. It shouldn’… https://t.co/KFdIIj12X6— OnStage Blog (@OnStage Blog) 1618440164.0
everyone in this industry needs to take notes. Karen Olivo just raised the goddamn bar for all of us.— hayley “stream higher power” st. james 👽📻⚡️ (@hayley “stream higher power” st. james 👽📻⚡️) 1618428675.0
The exposé details some very odd and scary working conditions in Scott Rudin's offices, including him breaking glass and injuring workers, throwing staplers at them, belittling and screaming at his workers, temporarily "firing" them while they waited for him to cool down in a Starbucks below the office, among other things.
Rudin is decorated in both Hollywood and on Broadway, having 17 Tony Awards to his name.
Olivo's assertion the theater industry's enabling Rudin is outstanding and disgusting is what lead them to drop out of Moulin Rouge!
"The silence about Scott Rudin? Unacceptable. Unacceptable. That's the easy one, y'all. That's a monster. That should be a no-brainer."
the silence from certain “well-known/loved/popular” broadway actors about the scott rudin, jagged little pill and k… https://t.co/7pfNhUBvn5— STREAM SOUR (@STREAM SOUR) 1618441355.0
I have so much respect for karen olivo right now. refusing to come back to a show in order to make the broadway and… https://t.co/kD6b9tSu84— ally ❀ (@ally ❀) 1618427548.0
Karen Olivo can afford to leave her show. Many arts workers can't. So much necessary reform work falls on a select… https://t.co/RgVc3rJ6qt— Lee Seymour (@Lee Seymour) 1618445670.0
The headline shouldn’t be “Karen Olivo Leaves Moulin Rouge,” but rather “Karen Olivo Insists on a Safe and Equitable Theater Industry”— Allie Glickman (@Allie Glickman) 1618495081.0
Rudin also sent employees to the emergency room, which Olivo directly addressed in their announcement.
"Are you going to protect your pocketbook? And let people go to the emergency room so you can do your next concert?"
Karen Olivo's post calling out Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster's silence about Scott Rudin cleared my skin. (If you… https://t.co/6isdEJIOPW— Juliet Antonio (@Juliet Antonio) 1617922660.0
I wish there were more Karen Olivo’s in the industry. I can’t wait to see Karen teach the younger generation and he… https://t.co/ez1NqildE0— zoe (@zoe) 1618429509.0
It’s incredibly meaningful and brave of Karen Olivo to do this when so many actual companies, unions, etc. cannot e… https://t.co/ylBQkcLJac— Tyler Ruggeri (@Tyler Ruggeri) 1618432243.0
Actor's Equity Association and Screen Actors' Guild, the two major actor unions on Broadway and in Hollywood, released a joint statement "condemning abuse in the workplace" that did not name Rudin.
From those who have worked in the industry, Rudin's hostility and unsafe working conditions have been an open secret for years, much like the abuses of Kevin Spacey were before that.
Hopefully other major leads will follow Olivo's cue and demand the industry do better or they'll take their talent elsewhere.