Ruth Wilson reportedly left “The Affair” abruptly in 2018 due to a “toxic” work environment.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter Wilson, who is restrained by an NDA, wasn’t happy with how often bosses asked her to shoot nude scenes.
She apparently didn’t see eye-to-eye with showrunner Sarah Treem, who has denied the claims.
Sources said Wilson was “often asked to be unclothed in scenes where there seemed to be no clear creative rationale for the nudity other than for it to be ‘titillating.'”
Another source claimed Wilson, who was allegedly labelled “difficult” due to her demands, once asked on set, beckoning to a male co-star, “Why do you need to see me and not more of him?”
An insider told THR, “There was a culture problem at the show from the very beginning and a tone-deafness from Treem about recognizing the position she was putting actors in. Over and over again, I witnessed Sarah Treem try to cajole actors to get naked even if they were uncomfortable or not contractually obligated to. The environment was very toxic.”
Despite the allegations, Treem insisted: “I would never say those things to an actor. That’s not who I am. I am not a manipulative person, and I’ve always been a feminist.”
She added: “I have devoted my entire professional life to writing about and speaking to women’s issues, women’s causes, women’s empowerment and creating strong, complex roles for women in theatre and in Hollywood, on and offscreen.”
“It’s what I think about, what I care about, it’s what drives my life and work,” she claimed. “The reason I even created ‘The Affair’ was to illuminate how the female experience of moving through the world is so different from the male one, it’s like speaking a second language. The idea that I would ever cultivate an unsafe environment or harass a woman on one of my shows is utterly ridiculous and lacks a grounding in reality.”
THR also mentioned an alleged meeting between executive producer Jeffrey Reiner and actress Lena Dunham, which was said to have occurred in September 2016.
Reiner reportedly praised Dunham for being comfortable with nudity before pulling out his phone to show her a graphic photo, allegedly taken on set of “The Affair” actress Maura Tierney and a nude male actor working as a body double for Josh Samberg.
Reiner declined to comment to THR. ET Canada has also contacted Wilson for a comment.
Showtime released the following statement to ET Canada: “At its core, Showtime has always prioritized the discovery and support of new talent, by providing an inclusive platform for original voices, and a safe environment for them to do their best work.”
“When confronted with a report of inappropriate behaviour involving anyone within our offices or productions, we immediately initiate a process overseen by our compliance team in the case of our own shows, or in the case of series we license from others, we collaborate closely with the relevant production studio. In the instances that THR is referencing, appropriate and decisive action was taken.”
Treem challenges THR’s piece in an op-ed written for Deadline: “Not much of my perspective made it into the story, nor the perspectives of many of the half dozen senior-level producers, director and other key crew members who spoke up.”
“We had been disagreeing on the character’s choices since the second episode,” she said of Ruth. “By now we were at this complicated impasse where I didn’t know how to write the character any differently and she didn’t feel she could play what I was writing.”
“On a continuous basis throughout Ruth’s time on the show, I tried to protect her and shoot sex scenes safely and respectfully,” Treem continued. “By the time we got to the third season, I had abandoned my original plan for the character and was actively trying to write Alison closer to Ruth’s vision.”
You can read Treem’s complete op-ed here.