Rita Wilson Says Scott Rudin Tried to ‘Find a Way to Fire’ Her After Breast-Cancer Diagnosis

Rita Wilson. Photo: Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

Since The Hollywood Reporter’s original story on megaproducer Scott Rudin’s abusive workplace history, and Vulture’s own intensive follow-up, allegations of unprofessional, harmful bullying from Rudin continue to pour in from former employees and celebrities alike. The latest anecdotes come from a New York Times piece featuring statements from actress Rita Wilson and Book of Mormon playwright Matt Stone, among others. Wilson told the Times that in 2015, she was starring in a Rudin production of Larry David’s play Fish in the Dark, when she found out she had breast cancer. A few days after telling Rudin, Wilson recalls that she received a phone call directly before having to go onstage, “saying her surgeon needed to call the insurance adjuster immediately, per Mr. Rudin’s demands. The memory still pains her.” Wilson suggests that this was meant to bully and potentially fire her, saying, “I felt like he was trying to find a way to fire me legally,” and “He is the kind of person who makes someone feel worthless, unvaluable, and replaceable.”

The piece also quoted Book of Mormon co-writer Matt Stone, who said that he and producer Anne Garefino gave Rudin an ultimatum, telling him, “Your actions have made it impossible for us to keep working together,” after The Hollywood Reporter story. Rudin then stepped back from active participation as a producer in the show. However, what is most notable about the piece is the number of celebrity collaborators who have worked with Rudin but declined to make a statement. The piece lists Jennifer Lawrence, Laurie Metcalf, Denzel Washington, Wes Anderson, the Coen brothers, Noah Baumbach, Aaron Sorkin, and Greta Gerwig among the talent that did not comment on the allegations against Rudin.

Scott Rudin Tried ‘to Fire’ Rita Wilson for Having Cancer