Jesse Williams Responds To The Video Of His Broadway Naked Scene Getting Leaked, Saying That Consent Is Important But He’s Not Worrying About It Too Much
Earlier this week, Twitter was drowned in an ocean of slobber from thirsty hos losing it over the sight of Jesse Williams’ bare peen under the lights of Broadway. Jesse is currently starring in the Broadway revival of Richard Greenberg’s play Take Me Out, and during the show, he takes off his chonies for a shower scene that isn’t meant to leave the Helen Hayes Theater. But one audience member decided to break the rules and sneakily recorded Jesse’s naked body and uploaded the video to the internet where it spread faster than herpes at a bareback orgy hosted by Usher. Jesse’s Take Me Out co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson tweeted that he was “appalled” by the disrespect to Jesse because the theater should be a safe space. Broadway actress Kate Shindle, who is the president of Actors’ Equity Association, co-signed what Jesse Tyler Ferguson said and added that it’s a “breach of consent” and “sexual harassment.” And Jesse Williams himself has said words about it, saying that he’s not going to let it get to him but that consent is important. That could be the last time that Jesse’s nakedness gets caught on camera because the theater has added an infrared camera to catch any possible dick vid leakers.
In Take Me Out, which began performances on March 10, Jesse plays a gay baseball player who has just come out. Jesse got a Tony nomination for it. During the play, Jesse and some of his castmates get naked for shower scenes, and this isn’t HBO Max, because they don’t don rubber dicks. The nudity in the play is the reason why audience members must put their phones in a locked pouch before the show starts. On the day that video took over the internet, Jesse briefly addressed it on Watch What Happens Live! when he said that nudity isn’t a big deal to him. Jesse got into it more with the Associated Press and shrugged over it but added that consent is important and the theater is a sacred space.
“I’m not really worrying about it. I can’t sweat that. We do need to keep advocating for ourselves. And it’s wonderful to see a community push back and make clear what we do stand for, what we don’t,” Williams said. “Consent is important, I thought. So, let’s keep that in mind universally.”
“Theater is a sacred space, and everybody doesn’t understand that. Everybody doesn’t necessarily respect or regard that in a way that maybe they should, or we’d like,” Williams said.
Jesse may be even less worried today because The New York Times says that Second Stage, which produces Take Me Out, has installed another infrared camera that will capture a clearer shot of someone pulling some illegal shit and that they’re talking about stopping the show anytime a phone is spotted in the audience.
Peter Dean, the director of production for Second Stage, said the theater’s security team already had a camera view of the audience that it monitored before, during and after the play’s shower sequences, but that on Wednesday morning it had added a PTZ camera (the initials stand for pan, tilt, zoom) which would allow it to get a clearer image of individual audience members at the Helen Hayes Theater, where “Take Me Out” has been running since March 10.
“This will allow us to focus on an audience member who looks like they’re doing something suspicious, and assess whether they’re just going through a purse to get a breath mint or pulling out a phone,” Dean said.
He said that if security spots a forbidden phone, it will alert the ushers and house manager, and that “we’re having discussions internally whether we would then stop the show, or send an usher or security when we see someone, to remove them.” He said the theater staff could ask patrons to delete footage from a phone, or could call the New York Police Department for assistance.
I bet it’s times like these when Broadway wishes it could clone anti-audience-fuckery warrior queen Patti LuPone. Because Patti’s ear could even pick up the sound of a faint click on a pair of Ray-Ban smart glasses a mile away. But since it’s not possible for Patti to be at every performance of every show, each theater should put cardboard cutouts of her in the aisles, and anytime someone pulls out a phone, an usher should blast a recording at them of Patti screaming, “Get the fuck out! Who do you think you are!” They wouldn’t have to confiscate the phone because it’d explode out of embarrassment on its own!
Pic: JOHN NACION/startraksphoto.com