HBO is doing their part to ensure that actors feel comfortable when asked to perform intimate scenes.
The network announced on Thursday that all of their TV shows and movies featuring “intimate scenes will be staffed by an intimacy coordinator” who serves as an advocate for the actors on set.
The company hired its first intimacy coordinator after The Deuce actress Emily Meade, who had felt “uneasy” during a sex scene she had filmed during the show’s first season, demanded that action be taken, Rolling Stone reported.
Starting season 2, Alicia Rodis was on-hand to review scripts, have conversations with actors about exactly what they were comfortable doing and make sure they stayed appraised of any last-minute changes made to the script.
“I am here to give a voice to actors, especially actors who feel like they don’t have one,” Rodis told Rolling Stone. “And I’m also here for the producers, to make sure that they know they’re doing their best to make sure the set is safe. 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 still be changed.”
RELATED VIDEO: Hilary Swank on How the #TimesUp Movement Has Affected Her
Before HBO announced their policy change, David Simon, The Deuce showrunner, opened up about what an eye-opening experience hiring an intimacy coordinator had been.
“Her job is to facilitate the filming of simulated sex and intimacy in such a way that we’re protecting the emotions and the dignity of everybody who’s involved,” he told Rolling Stone. ” ‘Cause it’s hard work, a lot harder than violence.”
“I don’t think I’m ever going to work without an intimacy coordinator again,” he added. “Because the truth is, we knew we were asking a lot of actors and directors and crew in terms of professionalism and to deliver this material bluntly and honestly. But you can ask all you want — at a certain point everybody has to trust everybody.”Rodis now also serves as an intimacy coordinator for numerous HBO projects, including Crashing and the upcoming Watchmen series.