HBO Has ‘Intimacy Coordinators’ On Staff To Make Sure Sex Scenes Go Smoothly

HBO is taking steps to ensure the safety of actors and actresses during sex scenes by hiring intimacy coordinators to be on set.

(L-R) Michelle Maclaren, executive producer James Franco, executive producer David Simon, producer Maggie Gyllenhaal, executive producer George Pelecanos and Lawrence Gilliard Jr. of 'The Deuce' speak onstage during the HBO portion of the 2017 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.
Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

HBO is taking steps to ensure the safety of actors and actresses during sex scenes by hiring intimacy coordinators to be on set.

HBO announced on Thursday that every single one of their original series and films will have “intimacy coordinators” placed on set when sex scenes are being filmed according to Rolling Stone.

The coordinators will serve as mediators between the cast, crew and production staff to make sure everything goes smoothly.

The Deuce, a show centered around the adult film industry in 1970s New York City, will be the first show the network’s coordinators will be on set for. This decision might have come, in part, due to accusations of sexual misconduct against one of the show’s stars, James Franco.

Franco was accused by five women, four of which were acting students he took on, saying that he, among other things, “would always make everybody think there were possible roles on the table if we were to perform sexual acts or take off our shirts.”

The 39-year-old actor was also accused of removing plastic guards that covered women’s vaginas during orgy scenes on set for a film his now-defunct Studio 4 film school and allegedly got very angry when women refused to go topless for scenes, with one accuser saying, “I got it in my head pretty quickly that, OK, you don’t say ‘no’ to this guy.”

The allegations were published by the LA Times.

Emily Meade, another star of The Duece who plays a prostitute-turned-porn star, was a driving force behind bringing an intimacy coordinator on board with HBO.

She stressed the importance of an “advocate purely for sexual scenes” in a recent interview, noting she started thinking about the idea when she noticed that stunt coordinators were on set for even the smallest stunt, but no such person was around for sex scenes.

“When it comes to sexuality, which is one of the most vulnerable things for all humans, men and women, there’s really no system. There’s never been a person required to be there to protect and bring expertise,” she told HBO’s Ashley Morton.

The idea gained traction with the network and was quickly adopted, with the coordinator working on intimate scenes network shows like Crashing, the upcoming Watchmen series, and the Deadwood movie according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Deuce co-creator David Simon loves the idea, telling Rolling Stone that he will never work without an intimacy coordinator on set again.

“Because the truth is, we knew we were asking a lot of actors and directors and crew in terms of professionalism and to deliver this material bluntly and honestly. But you can ask all you want — at a certain point everybody has to trust everybody,” he said.