HBO has adopted steps to make sex scenes safer for all their actors.
The network announced on Thursday via it’s public relations Twitter account that “As reported in @RollingStone, all @HBO programs with intimate scenes will be staffed by an intimacy coordinator.”
According to Rolling Stone, HBO hired its first intimacy coordinator to work on the second season of The Deuce, which is a show about the porn industry in 1970s New York. Inspired by the #MeToo movement, Actress Emily Meade, who plays a pornstar on the drama series, pushed for the change. She approached the show’s creators and producers about having an “advocate purely for the sexual scenes” on set. The network listened and hired Alicia Rodis, who is the founder of the nonprofit Intimacy Directors International. The nonprofit works to normalize a “high standard for directing intimacy and sexual violence to prevent abuse and harassment,” Huffington Post reports.
“When it comes to sexuality, which is one of the most vulnerable things for all humans, men and women, there’s really no system,” Meade said in an interview with the networks website. “There’s never been a person required to be there to protect and bring expertise.”
— HBO PR (@HBOPR) October 25, 2018
Rodis assisted the cast and crew of the show’s second season, and it was so successful that HBO decided to have an intimacy coordinator on set during all intimate scenes for all of its television shows and films.
Rodis has also started to work on other HBO series such as Crashing and Watchmen, according to the Hollywood Reporter. She will train other intimacy coordinators for the sets of Jett and Euphoria.
Intimacy coordinators will consult both cast and crew by analyzing scripts for problem areas, sitting down with actors and bringing their concerns to the director, Rolling Stone reports. Rodis told the publication that she wants to make a clear distinction for “sexuality between the characters and what’s actually happening between the actors.” Consent is also always in her mind.
“I am here to give a voice to actors, especially actors who feel like they don’t have one. And I’m here for the producers, to make sure that they know they’re doing their best to make sure the set is safe,” Rodis said to Rolling Stone. “Here we are a year after #MeToo and Brett Kavanaugh sits on the Supreme Court. Donald Trump is our president. Now, tell me we don’t need this—that we don’t have a culture that needs to be changed.”
HBO hiring intimacy coordinators was a change long overdue. I hope other networks are taking notes.