Directors' industry body unveils first guidelines for nudity in film and TV

They advise a ban on full nudity in any audition or call back.

The professional body for UK directors has released its first set of guidelines for directing nudity and simulated sex in TV and film.

The guidelines aim to illustrate best practice for directors working with producers, writers, performers, casting directors and intimacy coordinators among others.

Directors UK said it recognised that “by their nature, auditions are based on a power imbalance” and that “some performers can feel obligated to agree to uncomfortable requests to get a job”.

The release of the directing nudity and simulated sex guidelines follows the #MeToo movement, which led to numerous accusations against disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, and the revelation that some in the industry demanded sexual favours for work.

Directors UK advises a ban on full nudity in any audition or call back and no semi-nudity in first auditions.

Instead, they suggest performers wear a bikini or trunks and bring a chaperone.

If a recall requires semi-nudity, the performer and their agent must have 48 hours’ notice and the full script.

The production must also obtain explicit written consent from the performer prior to them being filmed or photographed nude or semi-nude.

Emilia Clarke interview
Emilia Clarke (Ian West/PA)

It comes after Emilia Clarke said this week that she felt uncomfortable with some of her nude scenes in Game Of Thrones, and cried before shooting certain scenes.

The guidelines are supported by industry bodies including Bafta, BFI and the Casting Directors’ Guild.

A statement from Bafta said: “Directors UK were hugely instrumental in shaping the cross-industry bullying and harassment guidance which we published in 2018.

“They’ve really embraced the agenda and have created a suite of additional resources which build on the guidance and help their members not only to tackle poor behaviour when they witness it, but also to recognise their role in creating an environment where bullying, harassment and all kinds of coercive behaviour are not tolerated.”

Burnt Premiere – London
Harvey Weinstein (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Directors UK campaigns and engagement manager Natasha Moore said: “We created these guidelines to encourage directors to think twice about the environment they create in auditions and on set.

“Directors can use their influence to nurture a safe working environment for all and this is keenly felt when rehearsing and filming vulnerable and sensitive scenes.

“The guidelines equip everyone with everything they need to do their job without concern, and it is in this spirit of collaboration that we can all make our best work.”

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