A video of a naked Jesse Williams, captured on stage in a shower scene from a Broadway play, has been posted online, sparking an outcry from producers and the union that represents actors and stage managers .
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the creation and distribution of photographs and videos of our members in a nude scene,” said Kate Shindle, president of the Actors’ Equity Association. “Whoever did this not only knew he was filming actors without their consent, but also that he was explicitly violating the theater’s ban on recording and distribution.”
Williams stars in a revival of take me out, Richard Greenberg’s exploration of what happens when a Major League Baseball superstar comes out as gay, charting how it unsettles the team and unleashes toxic prejudice. Williams earned a Tony Award nomination on Monday for playing the superstar.
Second Stage Theatre, which is producing the revival, uses Yondr sleeves to protect the actors. Spectators arriving at the theater hand in their phones which are then put in the locked pockets until the end of the show. The company said it would tighten security following the breach.
“Taking nude photos of someone without their consent is highly reprehensible and can have serious legal consequences,” Second Stage said.
“Publishing it on the internet is a gross and unacceptable violation of the trust between actor and audience forged in the theater community. We are actively pursuing takedown requests and asking that no one participate in the dissemination of these images.”