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Jesse Williams says theater is ‘sacred space’ after Take Me Out leak – The Hollywood Reporter




Jesse Williams says he’s ‘not disappointed’ to have pictures and videos of him performing naked on Broadway take me outbut that actors “must continue to defend themselves” when it comes to protecting their own safety and their performances on theater stages.

While speaking to The Associated Press to Tony Awards: discover the nominees On Thursday, the actor opened up about how he’s been feeling since footage of his performance was released and shared online.

” I am not disappointed. Our job is to go there every night, no matter what,” he said.

While he said he “can’t be worried” about what happened, he added that “we have to keep defending ourselves. And it’s wonderful to see a community step back and make it clear what we stand for and what we don’t stand for.

“Theater is a sacred space, and not everyone understands it,” he added. “Not everyone necessarily respects or views this in a way that maybe they should, or that we would like.”

Directed by Scott Ellis and written by Richard Greenberg, take me out stars Williams as Darren Lemming, a biracial black gay center defender who must manage the response from the public and his team after he comes out as gay. The show also stars Patrick J. Adams, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Michael Oberholtzer, with Ferguson and Oberholtzer both scoring Tony nominations on Monday alongside Williams for their performances.

the old Grey’s Anatomy The star and a number of other cast members appear naked in several scenes set in the fictional baseball team’s locker room. Williams called the show’s use of nudity “honest” and something that “makes sense” in the context of Greenberg’s play. “It’s not salacious. It serves the story. It puts the audience in an interesting position to understand, empathize with the characters.

Prior to the leak, Second Stage had instituted a no-phone policy requiring ticket holders to place their phones in locked Yondr pouches upon entering the theater to prevent actors from being filmed for their safety. Spectators could then unlock their phones when exiting after the show.

This policy will continue, with the theater announcing that it is adding additional security and an audience-facing infrared camera system, to be monitored in real time by the Second Stage security team during shower scenes to avoid the use of cameras. Second Stage is “actively pursuing takedown requests” and has asked the public to refrain from streaming previously released footage of Williams.

“Taking nude photos of anyone without their consent is highly reprehensible and may have serious legal consequences,” the theater said in a statement posted to its Twitter on Tuesday. “Posting it on the internet is a flagrant and unacceptable violation of the trust between actor and audience forged in the theater community.”

Williams’ leaked footage prompted a response from Actor’s Equity, which denounced in the “strongest terms possible the creation and distribution of photographs and videos of our members in a nude scene”, as well as than several castmates. This includes Ferguson, who tweeted that he was “appalled by the lack of respect for the actors in our company whose vulnerability on stage every night is crucial to Take me out.




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