Karen Olivo Won't Return to Moulin Rouge! Due to 'Unacceptable' Silence amid Scott Rudin Allegations
The In the Heights Tony winner is taking a stance against the film and theater producer after reports of his alleged abusive behavior surfaced earlier this week
Karen Olivo is speaking out about the abuse allegations involving Scott Rudin.
The Tony winner, 44, who is nominated at the award show this year for their role as Satine in Moulin Rouge! The Musical, announced Wednesday via Instagram Live they will not be returning to the musical once it reopens on Broadway in protest of theater and film producer Scott Rudin's recent abuse allegations from former employees.
"I'm coming on here because I want to let everyone know before it goes into the spin cycle why this is an important time and how we can actually sort of like use our power in situations," they said.
"Social justice is more important than being the sparkling diamond," they said. "Building a better industry is more important than putting money in my pockets."
A recent story by The Hollywood Reporter detailed allegations against EGOT winner Rudin, 62, from several former employees who say the producer would have violent outbursts while working for him and his production company, Scott Rudin Productions.
Rudin declined to comment to the media outlet, and his rep did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. No charges are known to have been filed against him.
Olivo addressed peers in the industry saying, "For all of ya'll who don't hear me, the silence about Scott Rudin – unacceptable. Unacceptable. That's the easy one, ya'll. That's a monster… What is your integrity saying you should do? You going to protect your pocket book and let people go to the emergency room, so you can go to your next concert?"
The Moulin Rouge! star is referring to an incident a previous staffer told THR, where Rudin allegedly smashed an Apple computer monitor on an assistant's hand in October 2012 after the employee failed to get him a seat on a sold-out flight. The assistant's injury was treated at the emergency room.
"We were all shocked because we didn't know that that sort of thing could happen in that office," Andrew Coles, a previous assistant and now-manager and producer, told THR. "We knew a lot could happen. There were the guys that were sleeping in the office, the guys whose hair was falling out and were developing ulcers. It was a very intense environment, but that just felt different. It was a new level of unhinged — a level of lack of control that I had never seen before in a workplace."
The In The Heights star's announcement comes two days after three theater unions – SAG-AFTRA, Actors' Equity Association and American Federation of Musicians Local 802 – put out a statement against workplace harassment after the allegations about Rudin surfaced.
"Every corporate Board of Directors should be deeply alarmed by credible reports of long-standing, repeated violent and aggressive harassing behavior by individuals who hold high positions within a company or on a production and exercise management power over subordinates," the statement read.
"All harassment is not only detrimental to the health and welfare of workers, but also a serious threat to the proper functioning of a company," the union leaders continued. "Thus, every corporate Board of Directors should be deeply alarmed by credible reports of long-standing, repeated violent and aggressive harassing behavior by individuals who hold high positions within a company or on a production and exercise management power over subordinates. Workers who come forward to blow the whistle in these situations are incredibly brave and we applaud their courage." The statement did not mention Rudin by name.
Olivo said they were partly speaking out for their students "who still dream about making art because they don't know the bullshit that's out her."
"I want a theater industry that matches my integrity," Olivo explained. "C'mon y'all, why don't we go make it. It's not here , obviously. Let's go make it."