Friday, July 12, 2024

Hollywood Shake Ups as Golden Globes Racism Trouble Deepens, Producer Scott Rudin Loses Main Movie Partner


We’re waking up to a lot of changes in Hollywood.

At the Golden Globes, where things couldn’t be worse, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor Dr. Shaun Harper gave up and left after the controversy over Phil Berk. Even though Berk was dismissed from the HFPA after his crazy racist email, Harper apparently felt he was getting nowhere. The group is supposed to make significant changes by May 6th. So far they’ve done nothing.

And others are reportedly jumping from the HFPA ship including Sunshine Sachs, their PR agency, and Judy Smith’s firm Smith & Company. She was the basis for the Olivia Pope character of a spin doctor in the TV series, “Scandal.” In the case of the former, if there ain’t no Sunshine for the HFPA they are really in trouble. After years of having wonky PR, Ken Sunshine gave the Globes an appearance of respectability.

Back here in New York, Scott Rudin’s comeuppance is snowballing. Variety reports that indie house A24 has severed ties with him. In the last few years, Rudin’s main movie deals have been with A24. This cuts him off from the Coen Brothers’ “MacBeth” with Frances McDormand and Denzel Washington, a prestige picture he was counting on riding to the Oscars next year.

Variety’s Gene Maddaus did a great job speaking to friends of the former Rudin assistant who killed himself last year, Kevin Graham-Caso. His brother had posted an emotional video about Kevin’s time with Rudin, but Maddaus got to the core of Rudin’s villainy. Rudin apparently pushed Kevin out of a moving car.

Meanwhile I can tell you exclusively that “ghost producers” are coming in to take over Rudin’s existing Broadway shows when they re-open this fall.

Once again, the Hollywood-Broadway table is being reset as scandal expunges power players. The kings are dead, long live the new kings.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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