On Wednesday, the SAG-AFTRA union issued a four-page guide listing a series of protocols for the use of intimacy coordinators on set. Intimacy coordinators help ensure scenes involving nudity, sex, or rape, are properly choreographed so actors feel comfortable, and since a wave of MeToo stories hit Hollywood, the demand for intimacy coordinators has spiked.
The guidelines, the Los Angeles Times reports, were created in consultation with 45 intimacy coordinators and producers. They require that coordinators must review all nudity riders with performers, directors, and assistant directors, as well as review the content of scenes and modesty garments.
The guide helps set in stone what performers need to pull off these often highly awkward scenes comfortably. In the past few years, several actresses have criticized or left productions entirely after showrunners and directors have mishandled these kinds of scenes. Samara Weaving left the show SMILF after alleging that series creator Frankie Shaw took issue with her no-nudity clause in her contract, took her into a trailer where she took off her own top, and then asked Weaving why she had a problem taking off hers. Ruth Wilson left The Affair due to what she called a hostile work environment, citing incidents such as a sex scene being visible to someone not in the production and refusing to shoot a sex scene that did not appear consensual.