Author Michael Chabon Apologies for working with Scott Rudin – Deadline

Michael Chabon, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his 2000 novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and worked for years with producer Scott Rudin on an unrealized film adaptation, wrote a long mea culpa – titled Apology from an apologist Rudin – in which he expresses his shame and regrets at having “allowed the abuse of Scott Rudin”.

In an essay of nearly 1,400 words published today on Way, Chabon writes of both witnessing and receiving abuse from the producer.

“I’ve heard stories of tantrums and revenge from Scott, but not of broken hands and people being pushed out of moving cars,” writes Chabon, whose first screenplay was chosen by Rudin in 1994. “But I knew enough. I would hear him regularly, even regularly, treating his staff, from the new kid who made coffee to the guy right under Scott on the SRP’s organizational chart, with what I would call careful, even surgical contempt, like a trained torturer. cause. wounds that leave no visible mark.

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“And I saw him throw a pencil, once, at an assistant as the young man fled Scott’s desk and Scott’s screams.” The pencil hit the back of the assistant’s head, the end of the eraser first, and fell to the mat. A minute later Scott called me into his office and we started talking, as if nothing untoward had happened, about the script we were working on at the time.

Deadline contacted Rudin’s office for a response to Chabon’s statement.

In a particularly moving passage, Chabon writes of Rudin’s assistant Kevin Graham-Caso, the man who was allegedly pushed by Rudin from a moving car and who committed suicide last year.

“I especially regret that Kevin Graham-Caso is not there for me to tell him personally how sorry I am,” writes Chabon. “Looking back at the emails he sent, arranging my trips and phone meetings with his volatile and unpredictable boss, remembering his voice on the phone, I can see and hear him walking on eggshells,” Taking the absurdly deferential, almost Victorian tone, Scott insisted his assistants take it with “talent.” “

Chabon’s novel chronicles the lives of two cousins, a Czech artist and his Brooklyn-born cousin, as they become major figures in the golden age of WWII comic book publishing. Spanning decades and geography and encompassing a mind-boggling mix of popular culture, the Holocaust, gay rights, real-life events, and fictional alternate history, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is widely regarded as Chabon’s masterpiece, with Hollywood making several attempts to turn the work into a film or TV adaptation.

In 2019, Deadline reported that Showtime landed the project, which would be written and produced by Chabon and his wife Ayelet Waldman. Chabon then severed his ties with Rudin.

In today’s essay, Chabon says he himself was the target of Rudin’s “fury, vitriol and vituperation” in 2010 when the two had a dispute over the terms of a agreement. Despite “a series of powerful Rudin email bombs filled with nails, razor blades and personal insults”, the Kavalier & Clay the author continued his collaboration with the producer for another half decade.

Chabon writes: “It wasn’t until five years later, when he started – behind our backs – to put my wife down and bullshit, that I finally drew a line and resolved not to work with him anymore. .

During the intermittent 20 years of his professional relationship with Rudin, Chabon said, “I sat there as he distributed it to people who, during this period, were getting younger and younger, until that one of them could have been one of my own children with a right to expect, or at least hope, that I could use my voice, my privilege, my authority as a white man , as someone Scott respected, even as a father, to protect them, to speak for them, to say something like, “Hey, Scott, calm the kid” or, better, “It’s not. normal to talk to people this way. Stop.’ I did not do this.

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