Saturday, October 27, 2018

HBO adds intimacy coordinators to all its shows during the filming of sex scenes to prevent abuse.

America's HBO is adding intimacy coordinators to all of its shows during the filming of all sex scenes to prevent possible sexual abuse.

HBO revealed the addition of the position of intimacy coordinator as part of crew on all of its produced series going forward in a Rolling Stone article on Wednesday, and then confirming it on Thursday on its HBO PR Twitter account, referencing the article and saying: "As reported in Rolling Stone, all HBO programmes with intimate scenes will be staffed by an intimacy coordinator".

In South Africa and Africa HBO shows like Game of Thrones, Westworld, Big Little Lies and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver are seen on M-Net (DStv 101) that used to have an exclusive partnership with HBO, but MultiChoice has now also started to channel HBO shows exclusively to Naspers' streaming subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service Showmax, like the new drama series Succession.

Alicia Rodis is the first-ever intimacy coordinator, and was hired by HBO as part of a trial-run for the second season of its porn industry drama series, The Deuce.

This position will now be expanded for all of HBO's drama series and films that will have an intimacy coordinator present on set during the filming of all sexual scenes to ensure standards and to prevent possible abuse.

Alicia Rodis started the non-profit Intimacy Directors International in 2016 that aims to create a code and standards for sex scenes in TV and film production and to protect against sexual abuse on-set.

According to the Rolling Stone article, Alicia Rodis is a former actor with a background in movement, specifically as a stunt performer and fight scene director.

The Rolling Stone article says that "Before becoming an intimacy coordinator, she trained and consulted with psychologists, entertainment lawyers, social workers and professional sex workers, among others, in an effort to do for sex scenes what has long been done for fight scenes: to acknowledge that they are fraught with potential pitfalls - physical and emotional - and to protect those involved".

Apart from covering actors' genitals with cloth and athletic cups, Alicia Rodis helps actors to approach the physicality of filming sex scenes differently.

"I am here to give a voice to actors, especially actors who feel like they don't have one. And I'm also here for the producers, to make sure that they know they’re doing their best to make sure the set is safe," Alicia Rodis is quoted in the article.