Jesse Williams on ‘Take Me Out’ Nudity Leak: “Theater Is a Sacred House, and All people Doesn’t Perceive That”

Jesse Williams says that he’s “not down” about having photos and video of him performing whereas nude in Broadway’s Take Me Out, however that actors “do have to hold advocating for ourselves” in the case of defending their very own security and performances on theater levels.

Whereas speaking to the Associated Press on the Tony Awards: Meet The Nominees occasion on Thursday, the actor opened up about how he’s felt because the photos of his efficiency have been posted and circulated on-line.

“I’m not down about it. Our job is to go on the market each night time, it doesn’t matter what,” he mentioned.

Whereas he mentioned he “can’t sweat” what occurred, he did add that “we do have to hold advocating for ourselves. And it’s fantastic to see a group push again and clarify what we do stand for, what we don’t.”

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“Theater is a sacred area, and everyone doesn’t perceive that,” he added. “All people doesn’t essentially respect or regard that in a approach that perhaps they need to, or we’d like.”

Directed by Scott Ellis and written by Richard Greenberg, Take Me Out stars Williams as Darren Lemming, a biracial Black homosexual middle fielder who should deal with the response from the general public and his group after he comes out as homosexual. The present additionally stars Patrick J. Adams, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Michael Oberholtzer, with Ferguson and Oberholtzer each scoring Tony nominations on Monday alongside Williams for his or her performances.

The previous Gray’s Anatomy star and quite a few different forged members seem nude in a number of scenes set contained in the fictional baseball group’s locker room. Williams known as the present’s use of nudity “trustworthy” and one thing that “is smart” within the context of Greenberg’s play. “It’s not salacious. It serves the story. It places the viewers in an attention-grabbing place to narrate, to empathize with, the characters.”

Earlier than the leak, Second Stage had instituted a no-phones coverage requiring ticketholders place their telephones in locked Yondr pouches upon coming into the theater to forestall filming of the actors for his or her security. Viewers members may then unlock their telephones as they exited after the present.

That coverage will proceed, with the theater asserting it’s adding additional security and an infrared digicam system going through the viewers, to be monitored in real-time by the Second Stage safety group throughout the bathe scenes to keep away from the usage of cameras. Second Stage can also be “actively pursuing takedown requests” and has requested that the general public refrains from distributing any beforehand posted photos of Williams.

“Taking bare footage of anybody with out their consent is very objectionable, and might have extreme authorized penalties,” the theater mentioned in an announcement posted to its Twitter on Tuesday. “Posting it on the web is a gross and unacceptable violation of belief between the actor and the viewers solid within the theater group.”

The footage leak of Williams prompted a response from Actor’s Fairness, which denounced within the “strongest doable phrases the creation and distribution of images and movies of our members throughout a nude scene,” in addition to a number of castmates. That features Ferguson, who tweeted that he was “appalled by the disrespect proven to the actors of our firm whose vulnerability on stage each night time is essential to Take Me Out.” 

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