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The New York Times reportedly shelved an exposé on embattled Hollywood bigwig Scott Rudin that was scheduled to run last year.
In April, The Hollywood Reporter and other news outlets published allegations made by Rudin’s current and former staffers, who said he was abusive and vindictive.
But, according to a new THR report, the Times had on-the-record accounts of Rudin’s abuse over a year earlier.
The story was set to run the weekend of the 2020 Oscars, which took place February 9, but was held without explanation to those who had participated, according to THR, which cited multiple anonymous sources.
Caroline Rugo, an ex Rudin staffer who participated in THR’s exposé, said she gave an on-the-record account of Rudin’s behavior to the Times in early 2020, according to THR. Josh Arnon, another former staffer, told THR that he spoke with a Times reporter for hours about Rudin, but the story “never came to pass.”
“I was not told at the time why it was killed,” Arnon told THR.
The Times did eventually run an exposé on Rudin in April, following other outlets.
THR noted that Rudin has serious business ties with the Times. He has previously been one of the biggest ad revenue streams for the newspaper’s Arts & Leisure section, totaling about $3 million a year, THR reported, citing sources familiar with the relationship.
The original run date for the Times’ Rudin exposé, the weekend of February 9, would have had the story running just weeks before the debut of Broadway’s “West Side Story,” of which Rudin was the lead producer.
A Times spokesperson told THR, “The advertising department is entirely separate from the newsroom and has no control or influence over any news coverage.”
The Times spokesperson added that the paper does not comment on unpublished stories, according to THR.
But responding to inquiries from Fox News, a spokesman for the Times defended the paper, saying that any allegation that the Times spiked its Rudin reporting is “patently false” and that “no outlet has done more pioneering work on the subject.”
“The Times has a 170-year long history of independent journalism,” Jordan Cohen, the executive director of communications for the Times said in a statement to Fox. “We published this investigation in spite of legal threats from Harvey Weinstein, whose company Miramax was an advertiser. We also published this investigation when China threatened to retaliate by blocking access to our journalism. We’ve been blocked in China since 2012.”
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