Cape Town – A TV sex scene filmed on Wednesday in Hollywood for an upcoming new drama series raised eyebrows after demanding that fully naked background extras be prepared for “genital-to-genital touching”, and be ridden nude on all fours.
A vast sex scene was filmed on Wednesday for the new 2016 HBO sci-fi drama Westworld that forced all extras on the closed set to sign consent forms agreeing to take part in “graphic sexual situations” ranging from simulating oral sex, “genital-to-genital touching”, being “on all fours while others who are fully nude ride on your back” and “having your genitals painted”.
Westworld, a TV remake of the 1973 movie, is described as “a dark odyssey about the future of sin” set at a futuristic theme park filled with androids, but where something goes wrong and the androids start to turn on and kill humans.
The new series with Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris comes from the same channel which makes shows like Games of Thrones, Girls, True Detective and True Blood seen in South Africa on M-Net and M-Net Edge and is filled with scenes featuring sex and nudity.
Hollywood was shocked on Wednesday when it came to light that the casting company Central Casting gave extras a consent form to sign that “require you to be fully nude and/or witness others fully nude and participate in graphic sexual situations”.
Concerned actor unions and guilds immediately intervened and scolded HBO over the sex scandal and rushed representatives to the set to monitor the vast sex scene filmed Wednesday with 50 naked extras.
The consent form required extras to “appear fully nude; wear a pubic hair patch; perform genital-to-genital touching; have your genitals painted; simulate oral sex with hand-to-genital touching; contort to form a table-like shape while being fully nude; pose on all fours while others who are fully nude ride on your back; ride on someone’s back while you are both fully nude; and other assorted acts the Project may require. The Project will also include language and sexual situations that some may consider personally objectionable or uncomfortable.”
For touching each other’s private parts extras were paid $600 (R8 256), instead of the usual $157 (R2 160) per day.
Trade publication Deadline reported on Wednesday that shocked extras “have never seen anything like what they are being asked to do on the show, and that it appears to be exploitative of the most easily exploited members of the cast”.
“There’s been nudity in TV and film for decades, but I have never seen this kind of waiver before,” said one actor.
HBO suddenly shifts the responsibility
Late on Wednesday HBO said in a statement that the consent form for Westworld’s sex scene didn’t come from them and that the pay-TV channel wasn’t aware of what was going on with its own show.
“The document that the background actors were given was created by an outside extras casting vendor. It was not requested, written or approved by HBO, Warner Bros. Television, or the producers, and contains situations that we do not require of any actor.”
“We are rectifying immediately the discrepancies in this vendor’s document with our actual on-set practices, which provide a professional and comfortable working environment for all performers.”
SAG-AFTRA which had a representative on set for the sex scene said “this seems to go far beyond the scope of what background actors are asked to do in the course of their day” and that “we are concerned when there is that much nudity and exposure.”
According to Slate, porn actors have no union or stipulations to protect them. “It’s important that performers understand their rights, especially in circumstances like these that pose a high risk of exploitation," said SAG-AFTRA.
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