Friendo: “Did you read Aaron Sorkin‘s remarks about Scott Rudin in a 9.30 Vanity Fair interview? ‘Scott got what he deserves,’ he said. One could get the impression that the Being The Ricardos director-writer is establishing distance perimeters in order to shore up his Oscar campaign. Aaron is Oscar-ready.”
HE: “But right after that Sorkin said, ‘Right now Scott is lying flat on the mat, and I don’t know how it’s helpful for me to stand on his torso and kind of jump up and down.’ So he’s saying one thing and then saying another. Industry rule #1 is that you stand by your friendships and partnerships. If you’ve worked with someone and you’ve done well by each other, you don’t kick them when they’re down or have been credibly accused of something ugly. You can run and hide (that’s human nature) but throwing an ex-partner under the bus by condemning or distancing…well, it’s tricky. Sorkin is not saying “Scott who?” but he is saying “Scott was.” Does this make him seem principled or a bit hungry?
Vanity Fair‘s Rebecca Ford: “You’ve worked with Rudin throughout your career, on The Social Network, Steve Jobs, Moneyball, The Newsroom, and this play. Do you have a relationship with him anymore? What is it like to sort of see this unfold with someone who was your collaborator?”
Sorkin: “In the last, I think, 12 years, I’ve worked with Scott a lot — three feature films, an HBO series, and a Broadway play. And it was painful to read that Hollywood Reporter story, particularly because it’s pretty likely that some of those assistants who were being abused were working on something I wrote while they were being abused. So I took it personally. Whether it’s a movie set, or a rehearsal room for a play, or backstage for a play, or a television series, morale is important to me. And I take a lot of pride in creating a place where people are really happy to come to work, where they feel a sense of ownership, a sense of authorship, a sense of family. And we have that at Mockingbird. We’ve always had that in Mockingbird. So this came as a big shock.
“I’ll tell you that in a number of the follow-up stories that I read, you’ll see people quoted saying, ‘Everybody knew, everybody knew.’ And that’s ludicrous. Everybody did not know. I certainly didn’t know, and I don’t know anybody who knew. First of all, I have my own experience with Scott, and it’s a higher class of bullying, but I get it. The stories that I had heard over the last 12 years were the kinds of things that—they could have been scenes from The Devil Wears Prada. There was no violence. There’s nothing physical at all in the stories that I heard. Had I known, there’s no chance I would’ve tolerated it, there’s no chance Bart Sher would’ve tolerated it, that Jeff Daniels would’ve tolerated it. So we didn’t know. And once we did, we did something about it.
Ford: “When you say you had your own experiences with a higher class of bullying, what do you mean?”
Sorkin: “Listen, I think Scott got what he deserves. He’s lying flat on the mat right now, and I don’t know how it’s helpful for me to stand on his torso and kind of jump up and down.”