SAG-AFTRA Accredits 7 Intimacy Coordinator Training Programs

Actors guild continues campaign to improve safety and consent during sex-scene filming


As part of its ongoing plans to make intimacy coordinators an industry standard on film and television shots, SAG-AFTRA announced on Thursday that it has accredited seven new training programs to increase the number of coordinators available to oversee the filming of sex scenes.

Intimacy coordinators are described by SAG-AFTRA as “an advocate, a liaison between actors and production, and a movement coach and/or choreographer in regard to nudity and simulated sex and other intimate scenes.” In the wake of the #MeToo movement in 2017, support quickly grew to make these coordinators a common part of all shoots to allow actors to feel more comfortable when shooting intimate scenes and prevent sexual misconduct and harassment on set.

“We hear from actors every day how trained intimacy coordinators make them feel safer on set,” said Alicia Rodis, Lead Intimacy Coordinator at HBO, in a statement. “The accreditation of these training programs will help members identify high-quality comprehensive programs that are meeting the demands for inclusion and accessibility. This will help safely expand the role and help create a diverse pipeline for highly qualified intimacy coordinators.”

The intimacy coordinator campaign is one that started at SAG-AFTRA under the direction of former president Gabrielle Carteris, who oversaw the creation of a code of standards and practices for intimacy coordinators in 2020 that has continued under current president Fran Drescher.

The seven accredited programs — five of which are based in North America with two others to cover coordinators for the U.K., Australia and New Zealand — are among the first to be approved by the new accreditation program unveiled in April 2021 by the guild.

SAG-AFTRA says that its next step will be to introduce a registry of qualified and experienced intimacy coordinators that have met the set standards for training and experience on set, as well as a pre-registry list of intimacy coordinators entering the field. That registry is set to be launched later this spring.