Will Hollywood take a stand on workplace bullying? Ray Fisher and others speak out

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Ray Fisher as Cyborg in “Zack Snyder’s Justice League.” Photo courtesy of HBO Max.

Two recent stories from “The Hollywood Reporter” examine the toxic work environment in Hollywood. 

In one, actor Ray Fisher spoke out about being mistreated while working on “Justice League” with Joss Whedon. Fisher was excited about portraying Cyborg, the first Black superhero in the DC Comics film universe. The film’s original director, Zack Snyder, had to leave mid-production because of a family tragedy, and Fisher clashed with Whedon, the new director who cut Cyborg’s part and insisted Fisher say a catchphrase he felt was not appropriate. 

Fisher said other actors also had issues with Whedon, but that Warner Bros. seemed more interested in protecting top executives than hearing  their concerns. 

In the new version of the film, “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” Fisher has a larger part. 

In another piece from “The Hollywood Reporter,” ex-staffers of famous producer Scott Rudin went on the record about his abusive behavior. 

Rudin’s reputation as a toxic bully has long been documented in the industry, but this may be a tipping point as more people step forward to call out his abuses, which include sending an assistant to the hospital after Rudin smashed a laptop monitor on the assistant’s hand.  

Rudin is also a producer on Broadway, and at least one performer in one of his shows says she’s not going back to work for him. Karen Olivo  (Broadway’s “Moulin Rouge!”) said in an Instagram video, “The silence about Scott Rudin? Unacceptable. Unacceptable. That's the easy one, y'all. That's a monster. That should be a no-brainer. Those of you who say you're scared, what are you afraid of?”

With the Oscars coming up, Rudin collaborators may be asked about him at press events. Rudin has worked on multiple projects with Aaron Sorkin, director of the Oscar-nominated film “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” Rudin is also slated to have an upcoming project with Frances McDormand, who is nominated for Best Actress.

Rudin is not an employee of a company, so he can’t be fired, but he’ll be out of luck if talent refuses to work with him. 

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Kaitlin Parker