SAG-AFTRA to Set Guidelines for Onscreen Nudity, Intimacy and Simulated Sex

“Intimacy coordinators provide an important safety net for our members doing hyper-exposed work,” SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris says

Last Updated: July 21, 2019 @ 2:28 PM

SAG-AFTRA announced on Sunday that it will collaborate with Intimacy Directors International (IDI) to “standardize, codify and implement guidelines” for theatrical intimacy, simulated sex and performance nudity on TV and film, and standards for intimacy coordinators on productions.

“Our goal is to normalize and promote the use of intimacy coordinators within our industry,” SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris said in a statement.

“Intimacy coordinators provide an important safety net for our members doing hyper-exposed work,” she added. “Intimacy coordinators provide an important safety net for our members doing hyper-exposed work. At a time when the industry still needs to make great changes, our initiative will ensure the safety and security of SAG-AFTRA members while they work and respects the boundaries of actors.”

“These specifically implemented guidelines will allow productions to run more efficiently while the specialized support empowers both cast and crew,” the union’s National Executive Director David White said. “Many productions are already using intimacy coordinators so it is imperative to codify and standardize the work to best benefit SAG-AFTRA members and the industry as a whole.”

Intimacy coordinators certified through IDI believe that “scenes of intimacy must be handled in a professional manner that adheres to the highest standards of artistry and safety, whether that be on stage or on set,” the nonprofit organization says on its website.

IDI utilizes what it calls the Pillars of context, communication, consent, choreography and closure as a standard for safe simulated intimacy in both rehearsal and performance.

In February, in response to the increased focus on sexual harassment in the entertainment industry and exposure of abuses of power in the workplace, SAG-AFTRA established the Four Pillars of Change initiative and issued a Code of Conduct and Guideline No. 1, designed to uphold professional standards.