Ruth Wilson left The Affair over 'toxic environment' which demanded gratuitous nudity

New details about Ruth Wilson’s abrupt exit from The Affair are coming to light, over a year after the actress exited the steamy Showtime series which earned her a Golden Globe.

While her departure was initially blamed on a lack of pay parity, the English actress in fact left amid disagreements about her frequent nude scenes, which she worried were gratuitous, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter

The magazine alleges a ‘toxic’ on set environment saw industry standards about sex scenes ignored, pressured actors to perform gratuitous nude scenes and then tried to dismiss the issues when complaints arose. 

Abrupt exit: Ruth Wilson reportedly left The Affair for creating a hostile work environment which pressured actors to perform gratuitous nude scenes and ignore industry standards about sex scenes, according to a new story by The Hollywood Reporter. Above December 6

Abrupt exit: Ruth Wilson reportedly left The Affair for creating a hostile work environment which pressured actors to perform gratuitous nude scenes and ignore industry standards about sex scenes, according to a new story by The Hollywood Reporter. Above December 6

Silent treatment: The piece offers new insight into the situation in light of Wilson admitted she wasn't 'allowed' to talk about her departure, which was initially believed to have started over a dispute about pay parity. An NDA is reportedly behind her silence

Silent treatment: The piece offers new insight into the situation in light of Wilson admitted she wasn’t ‘allowed’ to talk about her departure, which was initially believed to have started over a dispute about pay parity. An NDA is reportedly behind her silence

Since leaving the show Wilson has told reporters she isn’t ‘allowed’ to talk about her departure. 

However way back in 2014 around the time of the show’s first season, Ruth told the Mail On Sunday that filming multiple nude scenes had ‘put me off sex for life.’

Obliquely addressing her exit during a 2018 interview with the New York Times, Wilson explained: ‘It isn’t about pay parity, and it wasn’t about other jobs, [but] I’m not really allowed to talk about it’ before going on to suggest the Times contact showrunner Sarah Treem in light of a ‘much bigger story’ behind it all.

Interviews with many involved in The Affair told THR that Treem and Wilson’s working relationship was full of friction.

Wilson and Treem were reportedly at odds over the show’s nudity as well as the direction of the actress’ character.

Though Ruth knew that nudity would be involved when she signed onto the project, she is said to have been bothered by ‘frequency and nature of certain nude scenes’ which she deemed to have little purpose other than to be ‘titillating.’

At odds: Interviews with many involved in The Affair told THR that showrunner Sarah Treem (above) and Wilson's working relationship was full of friction, who were reportedly at odds over the show's nudity as well as the direction of the actress' character

At odds: Interviews with many involved in The Affair told THR that showrunner Sarah Treem (above) and Wilson’s working relationship was full of friction, who were reportedly at odds over the show’s nudity as well as the direction of the actress’ character

While she did sign a nudity waiver – a contract detailing an actor’s exact expectations/boundaries when performing nude scenes – a spokesperson for SAG-AFTRA said that industry standards still demand talent must ‘provide meaningful consent and be treated with respect and dignity during production,’ a standard which The Affair may have failed to achieve.

Wilson also took issue over the imbalance between male and female nudity, and was said to have been deemed ‘difficult’ in light of her complaints.

According to THR, many working on the show attributed the on-set issues to a culture of ‘tone-deafness’ stemming from showrunner Treem.

‘There was a culture problem at the show from the very beginning and a tone-deafness from Sarah Treem about recognizing the position she was putting actors in,’ a source with firsthand knowledge of the production told the outlet.

‘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.’

Inappropriate: Though Ruth knew that nudity would be involved when she signed onto the project, she is said to have been bothered by 'frequency and nature of certain nude scenes' which she deemed to have little purpose other than to be 'titillating'

Inappropriate: Though Ruth knew that nudity would be involved when she signed onto the project, she is said to have been bothered by ‘frequency and nature of certain nude scenes’ which she deemed to have little purpose other than to be ‘titillating’

She reportedly pressured actors by lavishing them in praise, telling actresses ‘Everyone is waiting for you,’ or ‘You look beautiful,’ according to one source.

‘It’s things you would think would be coming out of a man’s mouth from the 1950s,’ the insider said. ‘The environment was very toxic.’

Another issue was the way that sex scenes were handled while shooting. 

While sex scenes are typically shot on a closed set, insiders say there were ‘were people there who didn’t need to be’ present or monitors that were ‘in plain view’ during the intimate performances.  

Treem denied accusations to THR, saying: ‘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 went on to say ‘[I] did everything I could think of to make [Wilson] feel comfortable with these scenes.’  

Lasting effect: All the way back in 2014 around the time of the show's first season, Ruth admitted that the scenes had 'put [her] off sex for life'; seen is Ruth Wilson and Alison Bailey and Dominic West as Noah Solloway

Lasting effect: All the way back in 2014 around the time of the show’s first season, Ruth admitted that the scenes had ‘put [her] off sex for life’; seen is Ruth Wilson and Alison Bailey and Dominic West as Noah Solloway

Reports of The Affair’s hostile work environment put Wilson’s previous comments about the show in a new light. 

‘I’m a British prude and dread any sex scene that has to be performed,’ she told the Mail On Sunday in 2014. ‘For an actor they are miserable and vaguely embarrassing. It’s put me off sex for life,’ she said.

But back then, she defended the show, explaining that she didn’t see the sex as ‘gratuitous.’

‘The sex isn’t gratuitous. I was intent on trying to tell a story within those scenes. It’s not just about the sex, it’s about what is going on in each individual’s mind during it. If it’s just for titillation I think it slows up a story.’

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