Digital News Report- Emmy-award winning actor Jeremy Piven has caused a stir with his abrupt departure from the Broadway play Seed the Plow. Piven, who is best known for his role as the sharp tongued agent Ari Gold on HBO’s Entourage, cited health concerns over mercury poisoning as his reason to leave the play in December, two months before his run was set to end. An arbitrator will hear both sides of the dispute in early June.
The producers filed a grievance against Piven with Actor’s Equity, but he avoided any union penalties so the producers decided to take their complaint to the next level. The producers said in a statement that they have requested information about Piven’s illness. “The information requested includes, among other things, medical records and documentation of Mr. Piven’s activities both during and after the run of the show,” they said. All of the documents will be subject to a confidentiality agreement.
Piven has claimed that he offered to give up his medical records to the producers before, but they declined. “The fact that the producers issued a statement announcing the arbitration dates suggests that this is part of a punitive strategy to intimidate actors so that they ignore serious health symptoms and the advice of medical professionals due to fear that they will be sued,” he said.
Piven has said that he got mercury poison from eating fish. He apparently suffered from fatigue and was found to have six times the allowable level of mercury in his system