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Second Stage and Actors' Equity Speak Out About Illegal Nude Photos Taken of Jesse Williams in TAKE ME OUT

Take Me Out is now running on Broadway at the Hayes Theatre through June 11.

Second Stage and Actors' Equity are speaking out after photos were illegally taken of Jesse Williams' nude scene in the Broadway play Take Me Out.

Second Stage, the company producing the production, released a statement on social media, saying "Taking naked pictures of anyone without their consent is highly objectionable and can have severe legal consequences. Posting it on the internet is a gross and unacceptable violation of trust between the actor and audience forged in the theater community."

Despite the theater utilizing Yondr pouches, which lock away patrons' phones during the performance, the photos were still somehow taken and shared on the internet.

Second Stage is "actively pursuing takedown requests" and is asking that no one shares the images should they come across them.

Read the full statement below:

Kate Shindle, president of Actors' Equity Association, also released a statement that is as follows:

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the creation and distribution of photographs and videos of our members during a nude scene. As actors, we regularly agree to be vulnerable onstage in order to tell difficult and challenging stories. This does not mean that we agree to have those vulnerable moments widely shared by anyone who feels like sneaking a recording device into the theater. Whoever did this knew not only that they were filming actors without their consent, but also that they were explicitly violating the theater's prohibition on recording and distribution."

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who also stars in the show, spoke out about the issue as well, stating "I'm appalled by the disrespect shown to the actors of our company whose vulnerability on stage ever night is crucial to Take Me Out. Anyone who applauds or trivializes this behavior has no place in the theater which has always been a safe space for artists & audience members."

Take Me Out is now running on Broadway at the Hayes Theatre through June 11.

Written by Richard Greenberg and directed by Scott Ellis, Take Me Out officially opened to rave reviews on April 4th at Second Stage's Hayes Theater (240 West 44th Street).

TAKE ME OUT features Patrick J. Adams, Julian Cihi, Hiram Delgado, Brandon J. Dirden, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Carl Lundstedt, Ken Marks, Michael Oberholtzer, Eduardo Ramos, Tyler Lansing Weaks, and Jesse Williams.

In the Tony Award®-winning Take Me Out, playwright Richard Greenberg celebrates the personal and professional intricacies of America's favorite pastime. When Darren Lemming (Jesse Williams), the star center fielder for the Empires, comes out of the closet, the reception off the field reveals a barrage of long-held unspoken prejudices. Facing some hostile teammates and fraught friendships, Darren is forced to contend with the challenges of being a gay person of color within the confines of a classic American institution. As the Empires struggle to rally toward a championship season, the players and their fans begin to question tradition, their loyalties, and the price of victory.



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