Ruth Wilson shocked fans when she suddenly exited The Affair after the fourth season with no explanation. The actor, who won a Golden Globe for her role as single mom Alison Bailey, was vague about the reasons for her decision to leave the Showtime series, but now it appears that Wilson’s departure was motivated by what sources are calling a ‘hostile work environment.’
In a new article by The Hollywood Reporter, multiple sources who worked on The Affair, which ended in November, said that showrunner Sarah Treem created a toxic and hostile work environment, especially for Wilson. In the summer of 2018, Wilson surprisingly announced that she was leaving the show before its fifth and final season, telling the New York Times “It isn’t about pay parity, and it wasn’t about other jobs, [but] I’m not really allowed to talk about it,” before urging the paper to speak to Treem about the ‘bigger story.’
Wilson is barred from speaking about the circumstances around her exit from The Affair, but sources close to the show told THR that Wilson continually raised objections to the numerous and seemingly unnecessary nude scenes she was required to shoot by Treem. Wilson signed a nudity clause when she joined the series, but according to SAG-AFTRA, performers must still “provide meaningful consent and be treated with respect and dignity during production.” A source close to the show told THR that “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. 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.”
Treem denies the allegations, 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,” but other sources point out that nude scenes often had more staff members in attendance than necessary, with the monitors even left in view of the public during one sex scene filmed on location.
Wilson pushed back against certain sex scenes, including one that looked ‘rapey,’ says a source. A body double was ultimately used in the scene, with the body double later suing Showtime after she was referred to as ‘Alison Sexytime Double’ on a call sheet.
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