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Hollywood’s latest hypocrisy is perfectly timed. Here we are, Oscar weekend. Those who watch — and if this awards season trend holds, about 12 people might tune in — will doubtless hear more preaching and proselytizing than usual from our social justice warriors in Hollywood: The pandemic, the election, Black Lives Matter, structural poverty, bias and racism, the need for compassion, inclusivity, kindness, calls to demolish power structures and leaders who abuse the weak and powerless — all are guaranteed talking points.

Speaking of . . .

Have you heard the one about Scott Rudin, the super producer behind such films as “Moneyball,” “The Hours,” “No Country for Old Men” and countless others? Hot topic this week, even though he’s been protected by the Hollywood industrial complex for decades. In fact, I wrote about Rudin and his well-known, decades-long reign of abuse and terror back in 2014, to nary a ripple of outrage.

Now, seven years later — our climate different, but not different enough — more victims have spoken out to The Hollywood Reporter.

To those stars who would claim — a lá Meryl Streep, commenting on that other monster Harvey, not to know, to have no idea, to be shocked, I tell you, shocked! — the article’s headline nullifies that defense.

“Everyone Just Knows He’s An Absolute Monster,” first published April 7, is full of allegations that might shock moviegoers but have been fully accepted by studios, financiers, A-list directors, producers, and stars. Want to talk white male privilege, Hollywood? Here’s a physically abusive terror who has never been arrested or charged with felony assault.

A thumbnail sketch: Rudin is said to have smashed an Apple computer on an assistant’s hand, leaving him bloodied, traumatized and en route to the ER. Said assistant couldn’t get Rudin a seat on a sold-out flight.

After another assistant forgot to deliver a message, Rudin reportedly picked up whole computers and threw them at his staffers. “Not at a wall; at the assistants,” one told New York magazine this week. The most serious allegation, one circulated for years, has Rudin pushing assistant Kevin Graham-Caso out of a moving car. Four people close to Graham-Caso, including his twin brother David, say he sought treatment for PTSD after leaving Rudin’s employ. He committed suicide last year.

But yes, Hollywood, by all means, please lecture us. Pray tell: How can we be better? Show us your ways.

Rudin has a lot in common with Weinstein. There is, of course, the physicality. But there is also a culture they’ve cultivated and exploited, one in which powerful men who make other people rich and famous — and who impart a rare sheen of intellectualism — can brutalize and blackball with impunity, like little King Joffreys.

In any sane universe, Rudin would have been canceled along with Weinstein. Why hasn’t that happened? Why are these allegations just now drawing the faintest condemnation from collaborator Hugh Jackman, the lone A-lister to dare speak out? Why is backer Barry Diller so quiet?

Again, to anyone who would say they didn’t know, consider what another assistant told New York about Rudin’s celebrity clientele visiting his open-plan NYC office: “There’s no way they didn’t [hear the abuse] . . . and they keep coming back.”

According to one former junior exec, Rudin collaborator Chris Rock once walked past Rudin’s assistants and said, “It’s okay, you can relax. I know he beats the s—t out of you all day.”


“Many in Hollywood are nonetheless rooting for Rudin,” THR reported on Thursday. “Not a word from talent like Frances McDormand, who electrified the audience at the Oscars in 2018 with the ‘inclusion rider’ battle cry . . . Nothing from Aaron Sorkin, a close Rudin collaborator whose whole oeuvre has been a call for justice.”

When this year’s Oscars tanks, it won’t just be due to the pandemic. America, it seems, is on to Hollywood’s greatest performance of all: Hypocrisy in plain sight.

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