Jesse Williams Nude Video Stuns the Internet, Prompts Sharp Rebuke from Actor Association
Here’s the thing, you guys:
Two things can be true at once, you know?
Case in point: Jesse Williams is extremely handsome and many people around the world want to see him unclothed.
But the recent leaking of a video that features Jesse Williams naked should make these same people furious.
On Monday night, footage taken by an audience member in attendance at Broadway’s “Take Me Out” appeared on Twitter and quickly spread throughout the Internet.
The invasion of privacy took place just hours after Williams was nominated for a Tony Award for best performance by a featured actor in a play, and it prompted the following response by Williams:
“It’s a body, once you see it, you realize it’s whatever, it’s a boy! I just have to make it not that big of a deal.”
In the production, Williams portrays a gay baseball player who comes out at the height of his success and encounters problems because of it.
And while the former Grey’s Anatomy star tried to shrug off this lleak as no big deal… it actually is a big deal.
Which is why the Actors’ Equity Association released a statement in the wake of these inappropriate photos and video.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the creation and distribution of photographs and videos of our members during a nude scene,” said Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity Association, which is comprised of 51,000 members.
“As actors, we regularly agree to be vulnerable onstage in order to tell difficult and challenging stories.
“This does not mean that we agree to have those vulnerable moments widely shared by anyone who feels like sneaking a recording device into the theater.”
The message noted that the person who filmed the Grey’s Anatomy alum and other actors on stage did so “without their consent” — and condemned the audience member for “explicitly violating the theater’s prohibition on recording and distribution.”
It continued as follows:
“At every performance, there is a mutual understanding between the audience and the performers that we are sharing an experience limited to this time and place; that trust makes it possible for us to be exposed both emotionally and physically.”
The starement also labeled this act as “both sexual harassment and an appalling breach of consent,” concluding:
“It is a violation that impedes our collective ability to tell stories with boldness and bravery.”
Williams left Grey’s Anatomy in May 2021.
“I knew that as I designed my exit, the next thing I did had to be terrifying,” Williams explained in March to The New York Times, adding:
“I needed to get out of my comfort zone, I needed to go into a very unknown place.”
This new role most definitely qualifies, too.
“I asked to be terrified,” Williams told Page Six just a few days ago.
“I asked to do something that was scary and challenging and made me earn it and made me feel alive and not comfortable.”
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who was also Tony-nominated for his performance in this same play, has also commented on the nude scandal.
“I’m appalled by the disrespect shown to the actors of our company whose vulnerability on stage ever[y] night is crucial to Take Me Out,” he said this week.
“Anyone who applauds or trivializes this behavior has no place in the theater which has always been a safe space for artists & audience members.”