Rob Roth Steps Down as Director of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST UK Tour After Email to Scott Rudin Goes Public

When the email was made public, Roth confirmed his words and officially stepped down from his involvement in Beauty and the Beast.

By: Apr. 19, 2021
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As BroadwayWorld previously reported, following a recent story by the Hollywood Reporter about Scott Rudin's abusive workplace behavior, the producer has announced that he will 'step back' from Broadway productions. Since then, UK director Rob Roth has come under heat as an email that he wrote in support of Rudin was made public, according to The Stage.

Roth, who was set to helm the upcoming UK tour of Beauty and the Beast, penned an email to Rudin while on a flight, which was transcribed by the passenger next to him. In reference to Karen Olivo, who just announced that she would not return to her role in Moulin Rouge!, Roth wrote that Rudin should receive "an honorary Tony for somehow getting that horrible woman to quit acting. God bless you Scott for your service to American theatre."

When the email was made public, Roth confirmed his words and officially stepped down from his involvement in Beauty and the Beast. "Upon consideration of recent events, it is clear that I am not in a position to lead this production at this time. I see now that the sentiments included in a private email that went public were thoughtless and insensitive, and I am profoundly sorry that my comments have caused unintended pain," he told The Stage.

The original Reporter article spoke to to several ex-Rudin staffers who detail volatile and 'traumatizing' past experiences. The stories of abuse range from verbal tirades, to throwing a laptop at a window, and even smashing a computer monitor on an assistant's hand. The full story is available here.

Since its publication, True Grit EP Megan Ellison has also spoken out. "This piece barely scratches the surface of Scott Rudin's abusive, racist, and sexist behavior," she tweeted. "Similarly to Harvey, too many are afraid to speak out. I support and applaud those who did. There's good reason to be afraid because he's vindictive and has no qualms about lying."

Since his first Broadway producing credit for 1993's Face Value, Rudin has produced dozens of Broadway shows. He has won Tony Awards for The Ferryman, The Boys in the Band, Hello, Dolly!, The Humans, A View from the Bridge, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Skylight, A Raisin in the Sun, Death of a Salesman, The Book of Mormon, Fences, God of Carnage, The History Boys, Doubt, The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, Copenhagen, and Passion.

Rudin's recent slate of Broadway shows included West Side Story, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Book of Mormon. Before the onset fo the pandemic, he was due to open a revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and the West End transfer of The Lehman Trilogy. Rudin's next Broadway project was to be the upcoming revival of The Music Man, starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos