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Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams has addressed the leak of a video of him nude in the broadway show, Take Me Out.
The video emerged on social media last Monday and quickly went viral. It showed Williams during a locker room scene in the play, which is about a closeted baseball player.
The Hayes Theatre, which is home to the production, asks all audience members to lock their phones away in a security bag to prevent such footage, and was quick to condemn the leak.
On Thursday night, Williams told Associated Press, “I’m not down about it. Our job is to go out there every night, no matter what.”
Although most comments at first focused on Williams’ toned physique and the size of his manhood, many were soon quick to point out that filming someone naked without their consent is not to be applauded.
The Hayes Theatre has since said it was installing infrared cameras and additional security to ensure no audience members are secretly recording the performance.
Second Stage Theater, the company running the production, issued a statement saying: “It is deeply unfortunate that one audience member chose to disrespect the production, their fellow audience members, and most importantly, the cast in this matter.
“Posting it on the internet is a gross and unacceptable violation of trust between the actor and audience forged in the theater community.”
Williams acknowledged the supportive comments he’d received, telling Associated Press, “I’m not really worrying about it. I can’t sweat that. We do need to keep advocating for ourselves. And it’s wonderful to see a community push back and make clear what we do stand for, what we don’t.”
“Consent is important, I thought. So, let’s keep that in mind universally.”
In his first major stage role, Williams plays Take Me Out’s main character, Darren Lemming. Also in the show are Patrick J. Adams (Suits) and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family).
The play is well worth seeing, regardless of that infamous scene. Penned by Richard Greenberg, the show, which won a Tony Award for Best Play for its first run in 2003, examines a major league baseball player coming out as gay.
Last week, Take Me Out scooped four Tony Award nominations, including Best Revival. Jesse Williams, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Michael Oberholtzer are all up for Best Actor.
Head here to read the Queerty review of Take Me Out.