Producer Scott Rudin is no longer involved in the “day-to-day” operations of NY PopsUp, a spokesperson for the festival confirmed Friday.
Rudin, who is currently facing multiple accounts of alleged workplace harassment, stepped away from managing the program more than three weeks ago “once it became clear that that original vision of an artist-led initiative had been fully realized,” the festival said in a statement. Rudin was a producer of the pop-up programming festival, alongside film producer Jane Rosenthal, and the only Broadway member leading the state’s initiative to bring back live entertainment and theater.
The Hollywood Reporter article that reported allegations of workplace abuse was published just over two weeks ago. Since then, Rudin has said he will “step back” from Broadway and film production. Additional reports of alleged workplace harassment, particularly involving Rudin’s assistants, have since surfaced.
Several of the Broadway artists who have taken part in the pop-up performances, including Nathan Lane, Savion Glover and Amber Iman — who addressed the recently publicized allegations against Rudin — have been part of Rudin’s previous Broadway shows. The festival is currently in the midst of what was initially announced as 10 successive weeks of programming at Broadway houses to create a working model for Broadway’s reopening.
However, thus far, there have been two publicized events in Broadway houses — the St. James Theatre on April 3 and the Broadway Theatre on April 10.
“From its inception, the goal of NY PopsUp was to empower a group of brilliant artists to program and executive a multi-month, multi-disciplinary, statewide festival that would bring live performance back to New Yorkers and help catalyze the reopening of live venues from Broadway to Buffalo,” the statement from NYPops Up reads. “Scott Rudin made the decision more than three weeks ago to step back from managing the day to day operations of the program, once it became clear that the original vision of an artist-led initiative had been fully realized.”
The statement was provided to the New York Times and confirmed to Broadway News by a spokesperson.
The festival, which also features impromptu outdoor performances and post-vaccination concerts at the Javits Center, was produced by Rudin and Rosenthal in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts and Empire State Development. The programming is curated by the interdisciplinary artist Zack Winokur.
A spokesperson for Empire State Development declined to comment on who is now running the daily operations of the festival.
The previously announced slate of performers included “The Music Man” stars Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster — both of whom have recently made statements speaking out against Rudin’s alleged behavior — as well as Billy Porter, Larry Owens, Mandy Patinkin, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessie Mueller and Renée Fleming.
NY PopsUp launched Feb. 20 and is scheduled to run through Labor Day.