Hollywood will not be able to return to business-as-usual once the lockdown ends. In fact, all those steamy sex scenes portrayed on the likes of Netflix, HBO, and every other streaming service may come to a halt for a while as the industry grapples with new safety guidelines on set.
Speaking with the Daily Mail, Hollywood Intimacy Coordinator Amanda Blumenthal said she would not be surprised if sex scenes get put on ice until the dangers of COVID-19 have been severely diminished.
“I would not be surprised if for a period of time, until we figure out how we can work through this safely, productions choose to go down that route in order to make it on air – honestly that is something that could potentially happen,” she said.
Since the outbreak, multiple actors and actresses have allegedly expressed concern about filming future intimate scenes after the lockdown ends as major movie insurers figure out new policies to protect A-list stars. Most likely, people will have to test negative for COVID-19 before stepping on set.
If proper precautions and guidelines are not put in place, Amanda Blumenthal believes that stars will downright refuse to film any scene that involves kissing or onscreen sex. She even admits that Hollywood may have to revert back to the 1920s when the Hays Code expressly prohibited all on-screen sex and nudity. Since actors are not allowed to share medical information by law, creating new guidelines will prove to be a rather tricky task.
“One of my fellow coordinator friends joked the other day we are going back to the 1920s when there was censorship,” Blumenthal told the Mail. “Then you could not show anything and it was implied that they make love. Instead of a love scene they show a door closing and the audience realize they are going to have sex. Nothing is being made right now, and there is a huge demand for content so that would be a way to push it through quickly.”
“There will be lot of figuring out with individual actors whether they will be comfortable with the level of risk,” she continued. “I have talked to actors, some say this pandemic will not affect whether they do an intimate scene. For other people it is going to make a very big difference. Even before the pandemic hit there were actors asking for changes to scenes. I would imagine taking temperatures before scene would become common. Obviously if there was an antibody test available that would be incredibly helpful, whether that is something viable, again we do not know.”
News that sex scenes may completely halt in Hollywood comes just several months after the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) released several new guidelines for such scenes in response to the #MeToo era.
“Everything in Hollywood is on hold at the moment, but moving forward there is a huge worry about getting insurance regarding virus concerns for projects,” said a top agent at United Talent Agency (UTA). “There has not been a health situation like this ever in modern Hollywood, and no company wants to put anyone at risk not just for humanitarian reasons but also for liability too. For actors, a romantic or love scene in a script is red flag at this time. Even if we get an all clear, lip or body contact in any scene is causing huge concern.”
“Very few performers would desire to put themselves at risk given this is a matter of life and death,” the agent continued. “Senior agency people, film studios, talent and insurance companies are all discussing what will be acceptable or insurable. There are many moving parts, but for the immediate moment love scenes are not happening.”