NEW YORK ( Associated Press) – Jesse Williams vowed not to despair after leaked video and photos of her onstage nude scene in her Broadway play “Take Me Out” were posted online.
“I’m not down about it. Our job is to be there every night, no matter what,” Williams told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The leaked video and images prompted outcry from the show’s producers and the union representing the actors and stage managers.
“I’m not really worrying about it. I can’t sweat it. We need to keep advocating for ourselves. And it’s wonderful to see a community push back and make it clear what we stand for, What don’t we do,” Williams said. “Consent is important, I thought. So, let’s take that universally into account.”
Williams stars in a revival of Richard Greenberg’s exploration of what happens when a Major League Baseball superstar comes out as gay, the way it destabilizes the team and exposes toxic prejudices. Williams earned a Tony Award nomination on Monday for playing the superstar and a Tony for the revival is also set.
While Broadway shows have a strict policy against recording anything on stage, the second stage theater, which is producing the revival, has added yonder pouches to protect the actors, many of whom are naked in shower scenes. Viewers arriving at the theater are asked to keep their phones in a closed pouch which is only opened at the end of the show. The makers said they would increase security in the wake of the breach.
“The theater is a sacred place, and not everyone understands it. Not everyone necessarily has the respect or respect that maybe they should, or we would like to have,” Williams said.
The leaked video is the latest incident in which the privacy or well-being of an artist was threatened after Will Smith’s Chris Rock slapped an Oscar and Dave Chappelle was attacked by a man at the Hollywood Bowl.
One of Williams’ co-stars, Michael Oberholtzer, who also earned a Tony nomination on Monday, called the incident “very disappointing.”
“People feel like they can say and do something because they pay for admission or because they are a membership member or whatever the case may be, certain behavior is allowed. But it is not. It is the consent of the people. infringement,” Oberholtzer said.
Williams says she was approached for a revival of the play while starring in the long-running medical drama, “Grey’s Anatomy”, but it wasn’t until she read the script that she realized it contained nudity. .
“If someone had said it was a game with nudity, it would have been framed differently. But the nudity is honest. It makes sense. It’s not a fetish. It serves the story. It puts the audience in an interesting position to empathize with the characters,” Williams said.