Second Stage Theater condemns Jesse Williams nude leak: 'We are appalled'
The theater company behind the Tony-nominated drama Take Me Out issued a statement Tuesday forcefully denouncing the leak of photos and video of Jesse Williams' nude scene that were apparently captured during a performance.
"Second Stage Theater has worked to ensure the privacy of the Take Me Out company by creating a phone-free space with locked phone cases at all performances," the company said. "We are appalled that this policy has been violated and unauthorized footage of our acting company has been posted. It is deeply unfortunate that one audience member chose to disrespect the production, their fellow audience members, and, most importantly, the cast in this manner."
The statement continued: "Taking naked pictures of anyone without their consent is 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 participates in the distribution of these images. Second Stage is also adding additional staff at the theater to enforce the policy."
Take Me Out stars Williams as Darren Lemming, a baseball player who comes out as gay and faces personal and professional repercussions. The production opened at Second Stage's Hayes Theater last month and runs through June 11.
Williams' work earned him a Tony nomination Monday, the same day the leaked images of his full-frontal nude scene went viral. The leak also came on the heels of an appearance on Watch What Happens Live in which the actor discussed the scene.
"Everybody makes such a big deal," Williams said. "It's a body. Once you see it, you realize it's whatever."
Representatives for Williams did not respond to request for comment, and he has yet to publicly address the leak.
With reporting from Nick Romano.