Patrick Stewart Told To ApologiseBy Christian
May 26, 2000 - 10:32 PM
About a month ago, Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard) publicly denounced the producers of his new Broadway play 'The Ride Down Mt. Morgan', when he stood up on stage after a performance to express his belief that they were not promoting the play enough (story). Today, AP reported that a disciplinary panel of the Actors Equity has ordered Stewart to offer a formal apology to the Schubert Organisation, the company producing the play, after Stewart's behaviour was deemed to be unprofessional.
The Schubert organisation had filed a complaint with the Equity after Stewart criticised the producers in curtain speeches on two consecutive nights. Both times he expressed his frustration and helplessness over what he perceived as a lack of willingness by the producers to promote the play. However, the producers said they had spent $1 million to promote the play, and many industry insiders believed the lack of success of the play was simply due to it not being very good, and Stewart not having as much drawing power as other stars.
After hearing hours of testimony to determine whether Stewart had acted unprofessionally, the Equity's panel ruled that he had, and on the 11th of May ordered Stewart to deliver a written apology. The actor had until today to appeal to this decision, which is why it was kept secret until now, but he decided to accept the ruling. Stewart is expected to deliver the apology sometime next week.
Meanwhile, though Stewart's action generated a lot of nationwide publicity, this did not translate into a more successful box office performance. In the week after Stewart's tirades, box office fell by $67,809 and has continued to decline in the weeks thereafter, with only half of the theater currently being filled.