The Actors’ Equity Association has released a statement calling the leak of Jesse Williams’ nude scenes in Broadway’s Take Me Out “sexual harassment” and condemning the person who filmed Jesse and his fellow actors without consent.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the creation and distribution of photographs and videos of our members during a nude scene,” the statement reads. “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.”

The statement adds that “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.”

Second Stage Theater also released a statement, saying in part “Taking naked pictures of someone without their consent his highly objectionable and can have severe legal consequences. Posting it on the internet is a gross and unacceptable violation of trust between the actor and audience forged in the theater community. We are actively pursuing takedown requests and ask that no one participate in the distribution of these images. Second Stage is also adding additional staff at the theater to enforce the policy.”

Take Me Out stars Jesse as a baseball player who has to “contend with the challenges of being a gay person of color within the confines of a classic American institution.” Tickets are available here.

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