Director calls Rush allegations a 'great injustice'

Theatre director Neil Armfield has slammed the "misinformation" surrounding allegations of inappropriate behaviour against Geoffrey Rush, calling the media discussion of the claims a "great injustice".

"Look, I actually think far too much has been spoken about this already," Armfield told Radio National host Fran Kelly when she broached the topic on-air on Wednesday morning.

"The way that this has been spoken about has already set a kind of... I believe, a great injustice is being perpetrated."

The Sydney Theatre Company last week revealed it had received a complaint against Rush of "inappropriate conduct" dating back to his stint on King Lear in 2015, which Armfield directed.

The actor issued a statement denying the allegations, and "stepped aside" as president of AACTA ahead of Wednesday's awards ceremony in Sydney.

Armfield, who shot back at Kelly's assertion that Rush had "stood down" from AACTA - "he has stood aside; it's a different thing," he said - defended Rush's behaviour during the 2015 production.

"In my time, in all the weeks and months of rehearsal and performance, I saw absolutely nothing other than an artist at the top of his form, leading a company with respect and playfulness and great artistry - and that's really all I have to say about it," he said.

He dismissed reports from two other actors in the production who publicly backed the complainant as "misinformation".

"The two actors who have come out in support, one of them wasn't in the cast at all," he said.

"There is just so much chatter... As I understand it, it is a matter only between the complainant and the Company... The complainant didn't even wish for Geoffrey Rush to know about this."

Kelly, citing an Actors Equity survey that found 40 per cent of respondents had experienced sexual harassment or misconduct at work, asked Armfield whether having such claims in the open was at least a positive step for the industry.

Armfield rejected the notion.

"I have reservations about the way the conversation gets taken up. I think it's a very difficult thing to control and the presumption of innocence is of course lost," he said.

"But I think even just talking about this as a sexual allegation is completely inappropriate... It is 'inappropriate behaviour'," he added, noting he still wasn't aware of the exact details, which are being held by the STC at the complainant's wishes.

Armfield, whose opera Hamlet is due to premiere at the Adelaide Festival next year, where he is co-artistic director with Rachel Healy, had previously rubbished the allegations against Rush.

"It's not correct, there's no basis... I absolutely do not believe it," he told the ABC last week.

This story Director calls Rush allegations a 'great injustice' first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.