The producers of “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan” have received an apology from Patrick Stewart regarding, what they term, “inappropriate and incorrect remarks” that the actor made from the stage of the Ambassador Theater where he is starring in the Arthur Miller play.
Those producers include the Shubert Organization, Scott Rudin, Roger Berlind, Spring Sirkin and ABC Inc.
During the matinee and evening curtain calls of April 29, Stewart criticized the producers’ commitment to advertise and promote the production. As a result, the producers brought the actor up on charges with the Actors’ Equity Assn., which conducted a hearing on May 11.
An AEA committee concluded, “Patrick Stewart overstepped his bounds by expressing his personal viewpoint from the stage … therefore, the committee instructs Mr. Stewart to make a formal written apology to the producers.”
According to a statement from the producers, Stewart’s “initial, lukewarm apology was deemed unacceptable by the show’s producers and Actors’ Equity Assn.; therefore, Patrick Stewart prepared a further, more appropriate statement, which was delivered to the producers on Friday, May 26.”
The producers’ statement, issued by Barlow Hartman Public Relations, also reiterated comments made by the producers at the AEA hearing. Those remarks, in part, include:
“… Any comments regarding a producer’s decision affecting this show or any other, cannot be the subject of an actor’s opinion delivered on a stage in the presence of an audience. The actor’s job is to perform the play to the appreciation of the audience and not unfairly subject them to any personal views.
“(Stewart’s) disclosure of his intent to deliver a prepared statement prior to the Saturday matinee was not supported by fellow cast members, yet he unremittingly delivered it following the 2 p.m. performance as well as the evening 8 p.m. performance.
“He was instructed by Gerald Schoenfeld, on behalf of the producers, not to address the audience after the 8 p.m. performance, yet deliberately did so in violation of the instruction. He did not deliver the statement after the 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 30th, as planned, due to apparent intervention by AEA.
“As was their right, the producers did not pursue a fine, suspension, or dismissal from the union. AEA ruled in favor of the producers and demanded an apology from the actor, as requested.” In a written statement, Gerald Schoenfeld, chairman of the Shubert Organization, stated, “On behalf of myself and my producing partners, we are pleased that AEA has recognized the profound impropriety of Patrick Stewart’s actions and trust that they will advise their constituents that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated in the future.”
Kelly Bush, a spokesperson for Stewart, said the actor was preparing for a performance of “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan” on Tuesday and thus was unable to reply to the producers’ statement.