HBO has taken a step toward making their productions a safer and more inclusive space, with the decision to have “intimacy coordinators” on-set during the filming of sex scenes.
The producers of hit shows including Game Of Thrones, Westworld, Sex And The City and The Sopranos made the decision after a successful trial on the set of The Deuce, the Maggie Gyllenhaal-led drama about the 70s porn scene in New York.
As revealed in Rolling Stone, the job of an intimacy coordinator is two-fold: to both ensure sex scenes are done safely while still appearing realistic on-camera, and working as a mediator between the cast and crew to ensure everyone’s needs are met before, during, and after filming.
This can be everything from ensuring actors and actresses are all on the same page as to what a scene requires before shooting, to simply ensuring flesh-coloured underwear is available.
It should be noted that the initial decision came about thanks to actress Emily Meade, who last year grew increasingly uncomfortable during the filming of her sex scenes in The Deuce. With the wider #MeToo conversation fresh in her mind, she approached her producers with the suggestion of hiring an intimacy coordinator, with the goal of making the HBO workplace safer for both herself and her fellow actresses.
The effect of hiring the intimacy coordinator was immediately felt, with showrunner David Simon straight-up saying that he can never go back to filming a sex scene without one.
HBO has, in the past, been criticised for its depictions of sex and intimacy on-screen, especially in the hit series Game Of Thrones. And, generally speaking, sex scenes can often be taxing on in the actors involved, especially actresses.
However, with a commitment that intimacy coordinators will be hired for all ongoing and future productions, including the upcoming Watchmen series, this latest development is a sign that things are thankfully changing for the better in the industry.