Jesse Williams has vowed not to be discouraged after leaked video and images of his on-stage nude scene in Broadway play Take Me Out surfaced online.
I am not disappointed. Our job is to go there every night, no matter what, Williams told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The leaked video and footage caused an outcry from the show’s producers and the union that represents the cast and stage managers.
I don’t really care. I can’t sweat this. We must continue to defend ourselves. And it’s wonderful to see a community step back and make it clear what we stand for, what we don’t stand for,” Williams said. Consent is important, I thought. So, let’s keep that in mind universally.
Williams stars in a revival of Richard Greenberg’s exploration of what happens when a Major League Baseball superstar comes out as gay, tracing how it unsettles the team and unleashes toxic prejudice. Williams earned a Tony Award nomination on Monday for playing the superstar and the revival is also slated for a Tony.
While Broadway shows have a strict policy against taping anything on stage, Second Stage Theatre, which produces the revival, added Yondr sleeves to protect the actors, many of whom are naked in the shower scenes. . Spectators arriving at the theater are asked to put their phone in a locked pocket which is not opened until the end of the performance. The producers said they would tighten security following the breach.
The theater is a sacred space, and not everyone understands it. Not everyone necessarily respects or views that in a way that maybe they should, or marry like, Williams said.
The leaked video is the latest incident in which an artist’s privacy or well-being has been endangered, followingWill Smiths Oscar slap from Chris Rockand whenDave Chapelle was attacked by a man at the Hollywood Bowl.
One of Williams’ co-stars, Michael Oberholtzer, who also earned a Tony Award nomination on Monday, called the incident very disappointing.
People feel like they can say and do things because they pay for admission or because they are a subscribed member or whatever, that a certain behavior is allowed. But it’s not. It’s a violation of peoples’ consent, Oberholtzer said.
Williams says he was approached to do the revival of the play while starring in long-running medical drama Grays Anatomy, but it wasn’t until after reading the script that he surrendered aware that it included nudity.
If someone had just said their game with nudity, it would have been framed differently. But nudity is honest. It makes sense. It’s not salacious. It serves history. It puts audiences in an interesting position to relate to the characters, Williams said.
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