Any TV show coming or returning to screens in 2018 has to reckon with the aftermath of #MeToo. The allegations and accounts from the brave women in the entertainment industry who were mistreated as a symptom of its toxic culture made way for a much-needed shift behind-the-scenes. Specifically, the sex scenes. In conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, showrunners like The Chi's Lena Waithe and Power's Courtney Kemp spoke about the ways they work to make their sets a safer place.
For Waithe, that means ensuring that the women and men are treated fairly during intimate scenes, and that nobody hesitates from removing a person who is making people uncomfortable.
"We want to make sure we're talking to these actresses and also talking to our male actors and making sure they're aware. Because I don't play," Waithe said. "I'm like, "Look, it's the city of Chicago, people die every day. So if you wanna play that game and be disrespectful or misbehave on set with an actress or anyone, I will happily call Showtime and say, 'This person has to go,' and you will get shot up and it'll be a wonderful finale."
Kemp has done something similar many times. She tells that outlet that she's never have a problem throwing people off set during sex scenes.
"If you're not holding the boom or operating a camera and you're not holding the robe...Like, there are 10 jobs that are necessary for a sex scene," she said. "Other than that, get off set."
This is also why Kemp stresses the necessity of female showrunners: It can make these vulnerable scenes a lot more comfortable for the actresses.
"In a way, there is something about having a woman showrunner, which means that I have asked you to take your clothes off and go through this sex scene and I've promised you you're going to be safe on my set and you believed me because I was also female, so now I have to…I have to take the responsibility on."
The Chi finished airing its first season on Showtime in March. Power returns to Starz on July 1.
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