In the rush to institute reforms in the age of #MeToo and Time’s Up, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) has released a new set of industry protocols and guidelines when performing sex and nude scenes on movies and television shows, advising producers and crew members to establish clear lines of consent for actors and actresses.
As reported by Fox Business, the new guidelines demand that productions have an “intimacy coordinator” on set to help navigate sex and nude scenes. It also advises productions to have a clear set of rules as to what will and will not happen when filming takes place so as to avoid momentary professional pressure.
“Under the guidelines, intimacy coordinators should have pre-production meetings with producers, directors and writers to establish the exact degrees of nudity expected and the specifics of simulated sex as established in scripts,” reports the outlet. “They should have one-on-one meetings with actors to be clear about what they consent to.”
“The guidelines, drawn up by a team of leaders from the union, actors and intimacy coordinators, directly address the problem of sexual harassment on sets, the union’s National Executive Director David White said in a statement,” it continued.
The intimacy coordinators will be on hand to ensure that proper “modesty garments” are worn at all times while working with directors on how to choreograph a sex scene so that it appears believable while not violating the dignity and consent of the actors on set.
SAG President Gabrielle Carteris (“Beverly Hills 90210”) said the new guidelines will seek to “normalize and encourage the use of intimacy coordinators in productions, therefore ensuring the safety and security of SAG-AFTRA members while they work.”
The new guidelines from SAG come several weeks after Time’s Up released its own set of sex scene guidelines for the industry to abide by, which also included intimacy coordinators on set and in pre-production.
“If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. If it seems like a red flag, it probably is. It’s okay to say ‘no’, to speak up, and to leave situations that make you uncomfortable. No role, job, or relationship is worth compromising your physical or emotional safety,” the guide said.
The guide also provided some important information protecting actors from sexual harassment, instructing them on the proper actions they can take in such a situation.
Aside from sexual harassment in the workplace and pressure to partake in the Hollywood casting couch, actresses have been outspoken in the wake of the #MeToo movement about their experiences on set when performing sex scenes. “Game of Thrones” actress Emilia Clarke says she sometimes feels pressured to perform nude while on set.
“I learned it very early and I don’t look at anything at all ever, ever, ever, because when I did, after season one, I just saw articles about like how fat my a** was,” said Clarke. “I was like: I’m a kid, man. Cut me some god**** slack.”
While Clarke never described her character’s nudity in the show as unnecessary, she did say that she is now pressured on sets to reveal her body more.
“Now things are very, very, very different and I’m a lot more savvy with what I’m comfortable with and what I am OK with doing,” Clarke said. “I’ve had fights on set before where I’m like, ‘No, the sheet stays up,’ and they’re like, ‘You don’t want to disappoint your ‘Game of Thrones’ fans.’ And I’m like, ‘F*** you.’”