Actors’ Equity Association Condemns Leak of Naked Footage of Performers as Workplace Harassment
For theatre workers, the stage a is job site, and they are entitled to the same protections from the viewing public as workers interacting with any sort of client; inappropriate audience behavior can be a form of workplace harassment. Earlier this week, an audience member secretly recorded and subsequently leaked photos and videos of a Broadway theatre production featuring Equity members performing naked. Equity issued the following response:
"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. "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. Whoever did this knew not only that they were filming actors without their consent, but also that they were explicitly violating the theater’s prohibition on recording and distribution.
"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. Trampling on this agreement by capturing and distributing these photographs and videos is both sexual harassment and an appalling breach of consent. It is a violation that impedes our collective ability to tell stories with boldness and bravery." Read more here.